Owner`s Manual
Owner’s Manual
2642 Hackberry Dr
PO Box 2000
Goshen, IN 46527
(866) 869-1110
Table of Contents
Introduction
2  Important Safety Information
2  Danger, Warning, Caution and Note Boxes
2  Terms and Symbols Used
2  Important Safety Precautions and Information
2 Appliances and Equipment
2 Component Information & Warranties
3 Controlling Sway or Fishtailing
3 Generator Safety
3 Know Your Unit Before Heading Out
3 Lug Nut Torquing
3 Riding in Trailer
3 Tire Safety
3 Towing and Weight Distribution
4 Tow Vehicle Disclaimer
4 Safety Recalls/Service Campaign
4  Reporting Safety Defects
Chapter 1: Dealer Service
5 Dealer Responsibilities
5 Owner Responsibilities
5 Obtaining Warranty Service
6 Obtaining Warranty Service in Transit
6 Contact Dutchmen
Chapter 2 : Limited One Year Warranty (Five
Pages)
7 Warranty
7 Warranty Disclaimers
7 Damages Disclaimer
8 Warranty Exclusions
10 Defects v. Damage
10 Owner Responsibility
10 How To Obtain Warranty Service
11 Appliance And Component Warranty Service/
Administration
Chapter 3: Effects of Prolonged Occupancy
and Indoor Air Quality
12  Effects of Prolonged Occupancy
13  Improving Indoor Air Quality
14  Tips to Avoiding Condensation
14  Where There Is Moisture, There May Be Mold
15  Formaldehyde & Recreational Vehicles
15  Web Sites of Interest
Chapter 4: Tires, Axles & Weights
16  Tire Safety Information
16  Safety First – Basic Tire Maintenance
16  Recommended Tire Pressure and Load Limits
16  Understanding Tire Pressure and Load Limits
17  Checking Tire Pressure
17  Steps for Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure
17  Tire Safety Tips
17  Preventing Tire Damage
17  Tire Safety Checklist
18  Tire Tread
18  Tire Size
19  Tire Labeling
19  Tire Size and Type Designation
19  US DOT Tire Identification Number (TIN)
19  Tire Ply Composition and Materials Used
19  Maximum Load Rating
19  Maximum Permissible Inflation Pressure
19  Speed Rating
19  Vehicle Load Limits
20  Cargo Capacities
20  How Overloading Affects Your RV and Tires
20  Steps For Determining Correct Load Limit
20 Tire Warranty
21  Weight Ratings & Definitions
21  GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
21  UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)
21  CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)
21  GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
21  Hitch (Tongue/Pin) Weight
21  Weight Ratings - Labels
22  Weighing Your Unit
23  Axles & Suspension
23 Suspension
23  Shock Absorbers
23  Spare Tire
23  Tire Changing Basics
23  Wheel Nut Torque
24  Using Torque Wrenches
24  Pre-Trip Maintenance
25  Wheel Reinstallation
26  Wheel Nut Torque Sequence
26 Summary
Chapter 5: Towing Considerations
27  Getting Started
27  Tow Vehicle Selection
27 Hooking up to the Tow Vehicle
28  Tow Vehicle Set up
28  Weight Distribution
28  Brake Control
28  Hitch Selection
28  Weight Distribution Bars - Travel Trailer
28  Sway Controls - Travel Trailer
29  Safety Chains - Travel Trailers
29  Breakaway Switch
29 Lights
29 Mirrors
29  Also to consider
30 Towing
30  Controlling Sway or Fishtailing
31  Backing
31 Braking
31  Passing and Accelerating
31  Sharply Winding and Narrow Roads
31  Steep or Long Grades
31  Slippery Pavement
31  Freeways and Highways
31  Turning Corners
31  Mud and Sand
Chapter 6: Unit Set Up at Destination
32  Site Requirements and Selection
32 Electrical
32 Antenna/Satellite
32 Sewer
32 Water
32 Campsite
33  Unit Set Up
33  Leveling Procedures
33  Stabilizing Jacks
34  Hook Ups
34  Cold Weather Camping
Chapter 7: Appliances and Equipment
35 IF YOU SMELL PROPANE
35 Safety
35  Propane Appliance Maintenance
35  Air Conditioner (Optional)
36  Capability vs. Environment
36  Antenna (TV)
36  Awning, Patio
36  Awning, Electric Patio
37  Awning, Slide-Out (Optional)
37 Backup Monitor
37  Cable Hook-Up
37  Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
38  Generator (Optional)
39 Furnace
39  Thermostat - Wall Mounted
39  Thermostat - Remote Control
39  Dual Zone Thermostat
40  Fireplace (Optional)
40  Microwave / Convection Oven (Optional)
40  Oven Or Cooktop (Range)
40  Range Hood
40  Range / Cook-Top (outside)
41 Refrigerator
41  Refrigerator-Residential Style
41  Remote Control System
41  Roof Vents (Power/Manual)
42 Satellite
42 Televisions
42  Washer/Dryer Ready
42  Egress Windows
42  Fire Extinguisher
42  Smoke Detector
43  Elevated Beds And Electric Bed Lift Systems
44  Battery Disconnect
44 Equa-Flex, E-Z Flex
44 Pin Box
44 Level Up (4 or 6-point leveling)
44  Under Mount Spare Tire
44  Keyless Entry
44 Correct Track
Chapter 8: Electrical System
45  12 Volt System - DC
45  RV Battery
45  120 Volt System - AC
45  Shore Line Cord / Power Cord
45  30 Amp Service
46  50 Amp Service
46  Available Power
47 Adapters/Reducers
47  Extension Cords
47  Power Center/Converter
47  120V Circuit Breakers
47  12V Fuses
47  GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
48 GFCI-Testing
48  7-Way Trailer Plug
48  Brakes, Electric
48  Breakaway Switch
Chapter 9: Propane Gas System
49  General Information
49 IF YOU SMELL PROPANE
49  Propane Gas System
50 Regulator
50  Split-Bottle Systems – (Primarily on FifthWheels)
51  Propane Gas Pigtails
51  Propane Gas Lines
51  Propane Gas Leak Detector
52  If the Alarm Sounds...
Chapter 10: Plumbing System
53  Fresh (Potable) Water System
53  Water Pump
53  Fresh Water Tank
54  City Water Fill
54  Water Supply and Odor
54  Sanitizing the Fresh Water System
55  Water Heater
55  Water Heater By-Pass Kit
55  Water Heater Storage & Draining
55 Winterization
57  De-winterization / Removal of Anti-freeze
57  Waste Water System
57  Black Water Waste
57 Toilet
57  Drain Lines
57  Black Water Tank
58  Solid Build-Up in the Black Water Tank
58  Termination Valve
58 Dumping Instructions
59  Tank Flushing
59  Gray Water Waste
59  No Fuss Flush (Optional)
59  Odor Control
60  Monitor Panel
68  Fuel Transfer System
68  Fuel Transfer System Safety
69  Fuel Transfer System Operation
Chapter 13: Care & Maintenance
71 Exterior
71 Frame/Chassis/Attachments
71 Steps
71  Hitch Couplers (Travel Trailers)
71  Pin Box (Fifth-Wheel) & Hitch Equipment
71  Safety Chains (Travel Trailers)
72 Tongue Jacks, Manual/Power (Travel Trailers)
72  Fifth-Wheel Jacks
72  Siding & Sidewall Attachments
72 RV Gel Coat Finish - Care and Maintenance
72 General Maintenance
72 Cleaning
72 Waxing
72 Compounding
73 Removing the Discoloration
73 Other Alternatives
73 Metal
73  ABS Plastic / Molded Parts
73 Windows
74  Corner Moldings
74 Moldings
Chapter 11: Slide Out Systems
74  Other Wall Attachments
61  Basic Slide-Out Tips
74 Slide-out’s
61  Electrically Operated Systems
74 Roof
62 Schwin-Tek
74  Rubber Roof
62  Manual Override
75  Alpha Superflex TPO Roof
62  Hydraulically Operated Systems
75  Roof Seams and/or Joints
62  System Operation
75 Axles
62  Individual Room Control (IRC)
75  Brake Adjustment
62  Manual Override to Retract or Extend the
75 Battery
Slide-Out Room
76 Interior
76  Appliances: See Chapter 7
Chapter 12: Sport Utility Recreational Vehicles 76 Bedspreads
63  Bed Lifts
76  Blinds and Shades
63  Ramp Trailer Weight Distribution
76  Cabinet Doors and Drawers
63  Cargo Placement
76 Carpeting
64  Ramp Trailer Loading Safety
77  Ceilings and Walls
64  Loading Equipment
77 Countertops
64  Chocks And Blocks
77  Solid Surface Countertops
64  Tie downs
77 Draperies
65  Loading Ramp Operation
77  Faucets and Fixtures
65  Loading And Unloading Motorized Cargo
77  Flooring, Vinyl
66  Ramp Positioning
77  Glass and Mirrors
67  Loading Under Power
77  Fabric and Upholstery
67  Secure The Load
77  Sinks, Tubs and Toilets
67  Unloading Motorized Cargo
78 Maintenance Requirements
Appendix
79 Appendix
79  Exterior Pre-Travel Checklist
79  Interior Pre-Travel Checklist
80  Glossary of Common Terms and Definitions
Introduction
Dear Dutchmen Owner,
Congratulations and thank you for your purchase of your new Dutchmen Recreational Vehicle. Dutchmen
Manufacturing is a division of Keystone RV Company, which is the #1 selling Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel brand in
North America. This is not a position we take for granted and we want your experience with your new Travel Trailer
or Fifth Wheel to be enjoyable.
In the near future, you will receive a welcome letter with information for a survey to share your purchase experience
with us. This type of feedback, good or bad, is welcome and is what drives us to help make sure your experience is
the best it can be.
You can also follow us on Facebook for product news and updates through the links below:
http://www.facebook.com
To help get you started, please take a few minutes and review the Owner’s Manual thoroughly. There are multiple
components, appliances, and equipment unique to a recreational vehicle and understanding how they function will
be important to your overall enjoyment and safe operation. The Owner’s Manual not only contains the Dutchmen
Limited Warranty, but it will help you understand many of the functions along with the required maintenance of
your RV. If you have any questions please contact your selling dealer or the Dutchmen Customer Service Group at
866-869-1110. Additional information and resources about Dutchmen Manufacturing and your unit can be found
at www.Dutchmen.com.
Again, on behalf of everyone at Dutchmen Manufacturing we want to thank you for purchasing a Dutchmen
product. Enjoy camping in your new recreational vehicle.
Sincerely,
Your Dutchmen Manufacturing Team
This manual is based on the latest information available at the time of publication. Due to continuous
product development and improvements, Dutchmen Manufacturing reserves the right to make changes
in product specifications and components without prior notice. The most recent version of the owner’s
manual can be found on our web site www.Dutchmen.com under the Customer Service heading.
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Important Safety Information
Danger, Warning, Caution and Note Boxes
We have provided many important safety messages in this manual. Always read and obey all safety messages.
DANGER indicates an imminently hazardous situation that, if not avoided, will result in
death or serious injury.
WARNING indicates a potentially hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in
death or serious injury.
CAUTION indicates a potentially hazardous situation that, if not avoided, may result in
minor or moderate injury.
NOTICE is used to address practices not related to personal injury. This applies to
hazardous situations involving property damage only.
Note
Important information regarding the maintenance of your recreational vehicle.
Terms and Symbols Used
(Optional) This denotes items that may be an option on all or particular models. Additionally, some optional items
can only be included during the manufacturing phase and cannot be added. The inclusion of optional items does
not imply or suggest the availability, application suitability or inclusion for any specific unit.
Important Safety Precautions and Information
Appliances and Equipment
The appliances (stove, refrigerator, outdoor grills, etc.) and equipment (water heater, furnace generator, etc.) typically
operate on propane. Propane is flammable and is contained under high pressure. Improper use may result in a
fire and/or explosion. Be sure to follow all instructions and warnings in this manual (see Chapter 7) as well as the
specific owner’s manuals of the appliances and equipment.
Component Information & Warranties
Dutchmen Manufacturing has provided this manual solely for the purpose of providing instructions about the
operation and maintenance of its recreational vehicle. Nothing in this manual creates any warranty, either express or
implied. The only warranty offered by Dutchmen Manufacturing is set forth in the Limited Warranty applicable to
your vehicle.
Your RV, as well as all components and appliances, require periodic service and maintenance. The failure to provide
these services and / or maintenance may result in loss of warranty coverage. The owner should review Dutchmen
Manufacturing’s Limited Warranty and the warranties of all other manufacturers prior to use.
This manual is NOT intended to be inclusive of every operational aspect of your unit, but to work in conjunction
with the manuals supplied by the different component manufacturers of the components in your unit. Please note
that some components may be optional or not available for specific models.
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In addition to this Owner’s Manual, any manuals supplied to us by a specific component manufacture for
products installed in your unit are supplied with the unit. You may be entitled to additional warranties beyond the
Dutchmen’s Limited One (1) Year Warranty on individual components. Individual product warranty registrations
may be required by each component manufacturer. If supplied to Dutchmen, they are passed on in the unit at the
time of manufacture. We recommend these be completed and mailed promptly if applicable.
Controlling Sway or Fishtailing
Sway or fishtailing is the sideways action of a trailer caused by external forces. Excessive sway of your travel trailer
can lead to the rollover of the unit and tow vehicle resulting in serious injury or death. Be sure to follow the
instructions and warnings in Chapter 5.
Generator Safety
Do not operate the generator in an enclosed building or in a partly enclosed area such as a garage. Nor should the
generator be operated while sleeping. Be sure to follow all instructions and warnings in this manual in Chapter 7
and the manual provided by the generator manufacturer.
Know Your Unit Before Heading Out
Throughout the manufacturing process, your recreational vehicle has been inspected by qualified inspectors and
then again at the dealership. As the owner, however, you will be the first to camp and extensively use every system.
Dutchmen Manufacturing wants the first camping experience to be happy one and recommends a “trial camping
experience” before heading out. Plan a weekend in the yard or driveway and really camp in your unit.
By camping for several days, full-time in your unit, you will have the opportunity to use and become accustomed to
the systems within your unit and find out what items are needed or not needed while camping. Note any questions
that arise, difficulties encountered or problems that occur. After your trial, call your dealer and ask any questions
that have arisen. Getting to know your unit before the first adventure can save frustration and leave more time for
fun!
Lug Nut Torquing
Being sure wheel mounting nuts (lug nuts) on trailer wheels are tight and properly torqued is an important
responsibility that trailer owners and users need to be familiar with and practice. Inadequate and/or inappropriate
wheel nut torque (tightness) is a major reason that lug nuts loosen in service. Loose lug nuts can rapidly lead to a
wheel separation with potentially serious safety consequences. Please see Chapter 4 for more information.
Riding in Trailer
Do not allow passengers to ride in the trailer during travel. The trailer does not have seat belts and is not designed to
carry passengers. This may also be prohibited by state law.
Tire Safety
Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and load-carrying capability of your vehicle.
Under inflated tires and overloaded vehicles are a major cause of tire failure. For more information on tire safety,
please see Chapter 4.
Towing and Weight Distribution
Weight distribution is an important factor when loading your fifth wheel and travel trailer. A recreational vehicle
with the cargo distributed properly will result in efficient, trouble-free towing. See Chapter 5 for more information.
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Tow Vehicle Disclaimer
In connection with the use and operation of Dutchmen recreational vehicles, Dutchmen customers and owners
of Dutchmen recreational vehicles are solely responsible for the selection and proper use of tow vehicles. All
customers should consult with a motor vehicle manufacturer or dealer concerning the purchase and use of suitable
tow vehicles for Dutchmen products, Dutchmen further disclaims any liability with respect to damages which may
be incurred by a customer or owner of Dutchmen recreational vehicles as a result of the operation, use or misuse
of a tow vehicle. NOTE: DUTCHMEN’S LIMITED WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER DAMAGE TO THE
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE OR THE TOW VEHICLE AS A RESULT OF THE OPERATION, USE OR
MISUSE OF THE TOW VEHICLE.
Safety Recalls/Service Campaign
From time to time Dutchmen may initiate a Safety Recall or Service Campaign in an effort to prevent a possible
product failure from manifesting itself.
A Safety Recall involves a likely failure that can lead to property damage or personnel injury. Notifications are
mailed to the registered owner’s address and it is critical the issue be remedied before the unit or component that is
compromised is used again.
A Service Campaign is a potential product failure but is not likely to lead to personal injury. Notifications are
mailed to the registered owner’s address. Repairs should be scheduled at the owner’s earliest convenience.
Reporting Safety Defects
If you believe your vehicle has a defect which could cause a crash or could cause injury or death, you should
immediately inform National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in addition to notifying Dutchmen
Manufacturing.
If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may open an investigation, and if it finds that a safety defect exists in
a group of vehicles, it may order a recall and remedy campaign. However, NHTSA cannot become involved in
individual problems between you, your dealer, or Dutchmen Manufacturing.
To contact NHTSA , you may call the Vehicle Safety Hot line toll-free at 1-888- 327-4236 (TTY; 1-800-4249153); go to http://www.safercar.gov; or write to: Administrator, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington,
DC 20590. You can also obtain other information about motor vehicle safety from http://www.safercar.gov.
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Chapter 1: Dealer Service
The Dutchmen Manufacturing dealer network is the exclusive provider of Parts, Service and Warranty for
Dutchmen Manufacturing. We recommend your selling dealer be contacted first as they have a vested interest in
your satisfaction.
Dealer Responsibilities
1. Provide timely service under the terms of the limited one year warranty whether the product was purchased
from them or from another Dutchmen dealership.
2. Maintain adequate service facilities, preferably staffed with trained and certified technicians equipped to
perform competent, efficient service to your Dutchmen product in a good and workmanlike manner.
3. Provide a pre-delivery inspection of your Dutchmen product prior to delivery. This would include
instructing you on the operation of the unit’s systems, components, and Dutchmen’s Limited One Year
Warranty.
4. Register your unit with Dutchmen Manufacturing within 10 working days from the date of delivery.
5. Explain the process to obtain local Service and “Out of Town” Service in the event of an Emergency.
6. Remedy all open safety and service advisories prior to retail sale and delivery of the trailer
Owner Responsibilities
1. Review the information contained within this manual and all supplied component manuals.
2. Ensure the proper care and maintenance outlined in the manual is executed by appropriately trained
personnel according to the Maintenance Schedule outlined in this manual.
3. Make an appointment to return the unit, at your expense, to your selling dealer for the necessary service.
4. If two (2) unsuccessful repair attempts have been made by the servicing dealer to correct any covered defect(s)
that you believe substantially impairs the value, use or safety of your recreational vehicle, or repairs to any
covered defect(s), which you believe substantially impairs the value, use or safety or your recreational vehicle
have take twenty (20) or more days to complete, you must, to the extent permitted by law, notify Dutchmen
directly in writing of the failure to successfully repair the defect(s) so that Dutchmen can become directly
involved for the purpose of performing a final successful repair to the identified defect(s).
Note: Service Calls (except for units with a detachable A-Frame) or repairs completed by Non-Authorized
dealers are not warranted by Dutchmen Manufacturing. Should you encounter a situation that may require
such a service, contact your selling dealer for assistance PRIOR to incurring these types of expense.
Obtaining Warranty Service
We recommend all Warranty Service be performed by your selling dealer as they have a sincere interest in your
satisfaction. Please note that in almost every situation, you will need to make an appointment with the dealer.
Whenever possible, follow these steps to help assure a smooth Service experience:
1. Call Ahead - Give thought to an appointment time and call ahead. Mondays and Fridays are generally the
busiest times at a dealer’s service center, as are right before seasonal holidays.
2. Be Prepared/Make a List – Have a detailed list ready to review with the dealer when making the
appointment. Clearly identify what occurred, when and how the unit was being used at the time it occurred
(Shore cord plugged in or on batter power, using the water pump or on city water, only happens when I use
the shower, etc.). The more information provided up front, the better chance the concern will be addressed
timely and accurately the first time.
3. Parts Lead Times – While the majority of the parts needed for warranty repairs are in stock at your dealer
or at Dutchmen Manufacturing, a number of them may be special order. Many of these parts need to be
manufactured with extended lead times that can delay the repair process. In those situations, we recommend
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the dealer complete the repairs that can be completed and the retail owner take the unit to use. Once
the parts needed to complete the repairs are received by the dealer, return the unit for completion of the
remaining repairs.
4. Inspecting your repairs – Your dealer and Dutchmen Manufacturing want you to be satisfied with any repair.
After a repair is performed, inspect it thoroughly. Go over the repairs with the dealer service representative
and check of your list as you go. In the event a problem should reoccur after you have left the dealership,
contact the repair center or Dutchmen Manufacturing as soon as possible so the situation can be resolved
expediently.
Obtaining Warranty Service in Transit
Should you encounter an issue affecting the use, value or safety of your unit while traveling, contact your selling
dealer for assistance. Should you need to locate an Authorized Dutchmen Service Center, a dealer locator can be
found at www.Dutchmen.com or by contacting Dutchmen Owner Relations Monday-Friday 9am – 4pm Eastern
time at 866-869-1110.
Contact Dutchmen
For assistance with your recreational vehicle we suggest the following steps to insure customer satisfaction:
1. Contact your Sales Representative or Service Advisor at your dealership.
2. For further assistance contact the Sales Manager, Service Manager or General Manager at the dealership.
3. If the concern cannot be resolved at the dealership, please locate your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
and contact Dutchmen:
2642 Hackberry Drive
PO Box 2000
Goshen, IN 46527
Phone (866) 869 1110
Fax (574) 534 9057
www.Dutchmen.com – Customer Service Link
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Chapter 2 : Limited One Year Warranty (Five Pages)
WARRANTY
COVERAGE: Except as specifically excluded below, Keystone RV Company and Dutchmen Manufacturing, a
division of Keystone (hereinafter “Keystone”) WARRANTS for a period of one (1) year from the date of purchase
that the recreational vehicle manufactured and assembled by Keystone shall be free from defects in materials and
workmanship supplied and attributable to Keystone. Keystone, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute
parts or components of substantially equal quality, repair cosmetic flaws, make design and/or manufacturing
improvements. SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY: If within one-year from the date of purchase/delivery a
defect in materials or workmanship is found to exist that is not excluded from coverage, Keystone shall repair the
same and in the event the unit cannot be repaired after receiving a reasonable opportunity to repair, provide a
replacement unit, less a reasonable allowance for the owner’s use of the original unit, as the exclusive remedy under
this Limited Warranty. All owners (original or subsequent) must be properly registered with Keystone RV Company
to be considered for eligibility.
This Limited Warranty may be transferred during the one (1) year term by the original consumer purchaser to a
subsequent purchaser. The limited one (1) year warranty, however, shall in no way be extended beyond the one
(1) year from the original date of purchase by reason of the transfer from the original consumer purchaser to any
subsequent purchaser(s). The subsequent purchaser(s) also has an obligation to notify Keystone immediately upon
the transfer of the warranty and to further provide proof of purchase within the one (1) year.
WARRANTY DISCLAIMERS
THIS WARRANTY IS EXPRESSLY IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR
ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER OBLIGATIONS OR LIABILITIES
ON THE PART OF KEYSTONE. IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING IMPLIED WARRANTY
OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IF ANY, GIVEN BY
LAW, SHALL BE LIMITED TO AND NOT EXTEND BEYOND THE SCOPE OF COVERAGE AND
BEYOND THE DURATION OF THE WRITTEN LIMITED WARRANTY PERIOD SET FORTH
HEREIN. NO PERSON HAS THE AUTHORITY TO ENLARGE, AMEND, OR MODIFY THIS
LIMITED WARRANTY.
Keystone is not responsible for any undertaking, representation, or warranty made by any dealer or other person
beyond those expressly set forth in this Limited Warranty.
DAMAGES DISCLAIMER
KEYSTONE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR LOSS OF USE OF THE
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE, ON-SITE SERVICE CALLS OR SERVICE CHARGES, LOSS
OF TIME, INCONVENIENCE, EXPENSES FOR GASOLINE, TOWING CHARGES OR
TRANSPORTATION COSTS, RENTAL OF SUBSTITUTE EQUIPMENT, TELEPHONE, TRAVEL,
LODGING, DAMAGE OR LOSS TO PERSONAL PROPERTY, LOSS OF REVENUES, OR OTHER
COMMERCIAL LOSS, OR ANY OTHER SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY
KIND OR NATURE RESULTING FROM ANY DEFECT IN THE RECREATIONAL VEHICLE.
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THIS EXCLUSION OF CONSEQUENTIAL AND INCIDENTAL DAMAGES SHALL NOT BE
DEPENDENT UPON THE WARRANTY FULFILLING ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.
ANY ACTION TO ENFORCE THIS LIMITED WARRANTY OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY
SHALL NOT BE BROUGHT MORE THAN NINETY (90) DAYS AFTER EXPIRATION OF THE
ONE (1) YEAR TERM OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY OR WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR OF THE DATE
OF BREACH, WHICHEVER IS SOONER. THE PERFORMANCE OF REPAIRS SHALL NOT
SUSPEND THIS LIMITATIONS PERIOD FROM EXPIRING.
SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS OF HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY
LASTS, OR ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE REDUCTION IN THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, SO
THEY MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
THIS WARRANTY GIVES YOU SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS, AND YOU MAY ALSO HAVE OTHER
RIGHTS WHICH VARY FROM STATE TO STATE.
Warranty Exclusions - This Limited Warranty Shall Not Apply To:
• Equipment, products, components, appliances, or accessories not manufactured by Keystone whether
or not warranted, including but not limited to, tires, batteries, generators, washer, dryer, electronics and
other installed equipment or accessories;
• Trailers used for business, rental, commercial, residential, or disaster relief purposes, or any
purposes other than recreational travel and family camping;
• Trailers which are not originally sold through an authorized Keystone dealer and those sold through
auction, repossession, salvage or an otherwise damaged or distressed condition;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the acts or omissions of any kind by any party other than
Keystone;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the misuse, abuse, neglect, theft, vandalism, product
modification, improper customer or dealer installation, improper stowing of equipment, incorrect
line voltage, unauthorized repair or failure to follow instructions supplied with the recreational
vehicle;
• Routine maintenance including, without limitation, brake squeak/lock-up/adjustment, caulking,
changing fuses or light bulbs, combustion systems, latches, locks, maintaining the air conditioning and
heating systems, re-caulking and waxing of the body of the recreational vehicle, tightening screws, and
winterization;
• Adjustments to all doors, drawers, locks, latches, slide outs, awnings and window treatments beyond 90
days after retail sale;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the unauthorized attachments, modifications or
alterations to the structure, body, pin box, or frame of the recreational vehicle including but not
limited to trailer hitches for towing, or platforms for supporting cargo;
• Any upholstery damage including, but not limited to tears, punctures or misuse;
• Any fading or die lot changes of fabrics or carpet;
• Cosmetic issues with the rubber roof or its installation;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by exposure to natural or atmospheric elements, corrosive
chemicals, ash or fumes generated or released by vehicles, collision, road hazards, rock chips,
condensation, or any other source;
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• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by any animals, including such things as rodents and/or
insects;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the overloading or the improper balancing of the load;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the willful or negligent acts of the driver of the vehicle
pulling the recreational vehicle, an accident involving the recreational vehicle, the condition of any road
surface over which the recreational vehicle is pulled, or the striking or driving over a curb or any other
object;
• Damage or loss to the recreational vehicle caused in whole or in part by the tow vehicle selected by the
owner to pull the recreational vehicle including but not limited to the improper selection or installation
of towing hitch on tow vehicle, weight distribution or equalizer equipment;
• Any injury, loss or damage, beyond warranty repairs, due to mold or fungi;
• Damage or loss caused in whole or in part by the owner’s operation, use, or misuse of the tow vehicle;
• Any and all damage or loss to the owner’s tow vehicle;
• Rust or broken glass damage;
• Wheel or axle alignment;
• Re-design/Re-construction;
• Damage to electronics due to voltage issues are not covered under warranty;
• Representations made by any person (including your dealer) beyond those stated in this Limited
Warranty;
• Any trailer licensed, registered, or primarily used outside the USA or Canada; and
• Any incidental and consequential damages including, but not limited to, transportation, fuel, food,
lodging, telephone calls, towing charges, bus and taxi fares or car rentals, on-site service calls (except
units with detachable hitches designed for permanent site use), as well as commercial use and loss of use.
Further, any performance of repairs after the warranty coverage period has expired or any performance of
repairs to component parts and appliances that are excluded from coverage shall be considered “good will”
repairs, which shall not alter the express terms of this limited warranty.
Your recreational vehicle was designed primarily for recreational use and short-term occupancy.
Prolonged Occupancy can lead to premature component wear/failure and create conditions, which
if not managed properly, may be hazardous to your health and/or cause significant damage to your
recreational vehicle. These types of “Damage” are NOT covered under this Limited Warranty.
Please also refer to the Owner’s Manual, Chapter 3, Prolonged Occupancy and Indoor Air Quality
for more information on proper management during Prolonged Occupancy.
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Defects v. Damage
Please note the distinction between “defects” and “damage” as used in this Limited Warranty: “Defects” are covered
because Keystone is responsible; on the other hand, we have no control over “damage” caused by such things as
collision, misuse and lack of maintenance which occurs after the recreational vehicle is delivered to the owner.
Therefore, “damage” for any reason which occurs after the recreational vehicle is delivered is not covered under this
warranty. Damage must be noted at delivery to the dealership. Maintenance services are also excluded from the
warranty because it is the owner’s responsibility to maintain the recreational vehicle.
Keystone does not undertake responsibility to any owner beyond the original cost of the recreational vehicle to
Keystone or for any undertaking, representation, or warranty made by any dealer beyond those expressed herein.
Owner Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain the recreational vehicle as described in the Care and Maintenance
section of the Owner’s Manual including taking whatever preventative measures necessary to maintain the exterior
sealants of the unit and to prevent foreseeable secondary moisture or water damage to the unit from rain, plumbing
leaks, condensation and other natural accumulation of water in the unit. Owners should not leave a unit unattended
while attached to an internal or external water source which could lead to a ‘flooding’ condition. Examples of
secondary damage include, but are not limited to, stained upholstery, carpeting or drapes, mold formation and
growth, furniture cabinetry or floor deterioration, etc. Mold is a natural growth given certain environmental
conditions and is not covered by the terms of this Limited Warranty.
How To Obtain Warranty Service
1. Within ten (10) days of discovering the defect you must notify Keystone and an authorized Keystone
servicing dealer of the defect which is discovered within the warranty coverage period.
2. Promptly make an appointment as described above and deliver the recreational vehicle to an authorized
Keystone servicing dealer (with proof of purchase and freight prepaid) within a reasonable time after
discovery of the defect within the warranty period. All shipping or towing expenses incurred in transporting
the recreational vehicle for warranty service shall be owner’s responsibility (units with detachable hitch
designed for permanent site use may qualify for on-site service call assistance). Upon requesting the warranty
services you will be asked for:
10
(a) Your name
(b) Date of purchase
(c) Keystone vehicle ID number
(d) An explanation of the anticipated warranty claim
3. If the dealer is unable to resolve any warrantable issues or for assistance in arranging repairs, please contact:
Customer Service Department Keystone RV Company, P.O. Box 2000 Goshen, Indiana 46527. Telephone
Number (866) 425-4369 (www.keystonerv.com - Customer Service Link). Upon receipt of notice of a
claim, where the dealer was unable or unwilling to resolve the problem, Keystone may then direct you
to another dealer or service center for the repairs to be completed. Keystone may, at its option, request
that the recreational vehicle be returned to one of its Customer Service facilities in Goshen, Indiana or
Pendleton, Oregon where Keystone will repair or replace any parts necessary to correct defects in material or
workmanship or will take other appropriate action as may be required.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Please note that if two (2) unsuccessful repair attempts have been made by the servicing dealer to correct any
covered defect(s) that you believe substantially impairs the value, use or safety of your recreational vehicle,
or repairs to any covered defect(s), which you believe substantially impairs the value, use or safety or your
recreational vehicle have taken twenty (20) or more days to complete, you must, to the extent permitted by
law, notify Keystone directly in writing of the failure to successfully repair the defect(s) so that Keystone can
become directly involved for the purpose of performing a final successful repair to the identified defect(s).
Appliance And Component Warranty Service/Administration
Appliance and component manufacturers may or may not provide their own warranties. These warranties are
separate from the Keystone Limited Warranty and constitute the only warranty for those specific appliances and
components. The terms, conditions and warranty periods of these items may vary from the Keystone Limited
Warranty.
For the appliance and component manufacturers providing warranties, Keystone does, however, administer those
warranties during the term of this one year Limited Warranty except for tires, batteries, generators and washer, dryer.
All warranty service claims on components must therefore be directed during the one year of this Limited Warranty
to Keystone. After the one year period, all appliance and component warranty claims must be directed to the
respective appliance and component manufacturers.
Keystone is not warranting any appliance or components and is only representing that it is authorized to
administer the services for such products during the one year term of the Limited Warranty. In no way shall
Keystone’s Limited Warranty be modified or amended by Keystone providing administrative services for
appliances and components.
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Chapter 3: Effects of Prolonged Occupancy and Indoor Air
Quality
Effects of Prolonged Occupancy
Your recreational vehicle was designed primarily for recreational use and short-term occupancy.
Prolonged Occupancy can lead to premature component wear/failure and create conditions, which
if not managed properly, may be hazardous to your health and/or cause significant damage to your
recreational vehicle. These types of “Damage” are NOT covered under this Limited Warranty.
Please also refer to the Owner’s Manual, Chapter 3, Prolonged Occupancy and Indoor Air Quality
for more information on proper management during Prolonged Occupancy.
Unlike a home which can be thousands of square feet in size, your RV is only a few hundred square feet. The
relatively small volume and tight compact construction of modern recreational vehicles means that the normal living
activities of even a few occupants (or animals) will lead to rapid moisture saturation of the air contained in the RV.
Estimates indicate that a family of four can vaporize up to three gallons of water daily through breathing, cooking,
bathing and washing.
Unless the water vapor is carried outside by ventilation or condensed by a dehumidifier, it will condense on the
inside the unit. It may condense out of sight inside cabinets, closets, etc. where the air temperature within may be
slightly different. This can not only cause damage to your RV but also your personal belongings. Appearance of
these conditions can be misconstrued as a water leak.
Good indoor air quality is essential for long term enjoyment of your Dutchmen recreational vehicle. To maintain
good air quality you need to be attentive to proper ventilation of your recreational vehicle, keeping the RV clean,
and avoiding unnecessary air pollutants. Common indoor air pollution sources include molds, pollen, dander from
pet fur, secondhand smoke, carbon monoxide from burning propane and other fuels (and charcoal), and household
cleaners. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing enough outdoor air to dilute
emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants outside. High temperatures and humidity
levels can also increase concentrations of some air pollutants. Those people most at risk for poor indoor air quality
include: people with asthma, people with allergies, people who have chronic lung diseases such as bronchitis and
emphysema, people with pre-existing heart disease, children, and the elderly.
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Improving Indoor Air Quality
CDC Recommendations: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps
to improve indoor air quality:
1. Breath Fresh Air
• Open Windows
• Spend as much time outside as you can, in fresh air
2. Control Mold
• Clean your bathroom and kitchen often to fight mold
• Fix any water leaks
• Clean up any mold you see or smell with a mix of no more that 1 cup of bleach mixed with 1
gallon of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia
• Close windows and run your air conditioner (AC) or your dehumidifier to help control mold
3. Other ways to improve air quality
• Clean often to get rid of dust and pet fur which can bother your nose and throat
• Try not to use bug spray inside your trailer
• DO NOT SMOKE INSIDE YOUR TRAILER
EPA Recommendations: There are 3 basic strategies recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
to improve indoor air quality:
• Remove Sources: The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate sources of
pollution or reduce their emissions. Pollutants that this strategy can have an impact upon are: (i)
Biological Contaminants such as bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander, and pollen, (ii)
Household Products such as paints, varnishes, cleaning and disinfecting solutions, cosmetics and hobby
products, and (iii) Pesticides.
• Ventilation: Increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Typically, RV Furnaces & Air
Conditioners DO NOT mechanically bring fresh air into the unit. Simultaneously opening doors and
windows to allow fresh air in along with turning on exhaust fans such as the bathroom, ceiling and
range hood to take inside air out is an effective way to improve Indoor Air Quality. If too little outdoor
air enters an RV, pollutants may accumulate to higher levels.
• Air Cleaners: Air cleaners are designed to remove particles from the air. There are many types and
sizes of air cleaners on the market. However, air cleaners are not generally designed to remove gaseous
pollutants. The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air
and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element.
• For more information about Indoor Air Quality and its effects, please refer to www.epa.gov/iaq.
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Tips to Avoiding Condensation
• When bathing, washing dishes, hair- drying, laundering, cooking and using appliances and non-vented
gas burners always turn on the nearest exhaust fan.
• Keep the bathroom door closed and the vent open (if equipped, exhaust fan on) when bathing/
showering and for a period of time after you have finished.
• Do not hang wet clothes in the coach to dry.
• In hot weather, start the air conditioner early as it removes excess humidity from the air while lowering
the temperature.
• Manage the inside temperature during cold weather. The higher inside temperature along with colder
outside temperatures will cause condensation to form on areas that are not insulated as well as others
(windows, vents, wall studs, etc).
• Poor air circulation inside the unit can cause condensation to form inside closets and cabinets. Allow air
to circulate inside closets and cabinets (leave doors partially open) so the temperature inside the cabinet
is the same as in the rest of the unit. Please keep in mind that a closed cabinet full of stored goods
prevents circulation and can cause condensation.
• The natural tendency would be to close the vehicle tightly during cold weather. This will actually
compound the problem. Simply put, you need to get the moisture in the air that is created from normal
use outside. The most effective way is utilizing your vents and vent fans.
• Use fluorescent ceiling lights and minimize prolonged use of incandescent lights, which produce heat
and contribute to condensation in the roof above the ceiling lights.
If the tips presented here are not effective in controlling condensation, it may be necessary for you to invest in a
dehumidifier to reduce the health risk to you or your family as well as prevent damage to your RV.
Where There Is Moisture, There May Be Mold
Molds, which are pollutants, are microscopic organisms that naturally occur in virtually every environment,
indoors and out. Outdoors, mold growth is important in the decomposition of plants. Indoors, mold growth is
unfavorable. Left unchecked, molds break down natural materials such as wood products and fabrics.
For mold growth to occur temperatures must be between 40 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and there must be
a source of moisture such as humidity, standing water, damp materials, etc. Indoors, the most rapid growth occurs
with warm and humid conditions.
By controlling relative humidity (moisture), the growth of mold and mildew can be inhibited.
• In warm climates, use of the air conditioner will reduce the relative humidity.
• Opening vents and operating exhaust fans when introducing high levels of moisture to the inside of the
unit (bathing, showering, cooking, washing dishes, etc.) will help control the environment needed for
mold to grow.
• Clean any spills immediately
• Avoid leaving damp towels, cloths, etc. out to dry inside the unit
• On safe surfaces, use mold or mildew-killing cleaning products.
• Check sealants regularly and reseal when necessary to avoid water leaks. Proper preventive maintenance
to the RV and its accessories, as described both in this manual and in accompanying literature, will
provide the best protection for your unit.
• In extreme conditions, a dehumidifier may be necessary.
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Formaldehyde & Recreational Vehicles
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance. Formaldehyde may be released from smoking, cooking, use of
soaps and detergents such as carpet shampoos, cosmetics, and many other household products. It is also a byproduct of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus it may be present in concentrations both indoors
and outdoors. Formaldehyde is also an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of some of the components
used in the construction of recreational vehicles and is also contained in some holding tank chemicals. Some people
are very sensitive to formaldehyde while others may not have any reaction to the same levels of formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent-smelling gas that can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and
throat, nausea, and difficulty breathing.
As recommended by the CDC and the EPA, improving the air quality can be accomplished by actions such as
opening windows, opening roof vents, operating fans and vents, running the air conditioner, or some combination
thereof. In particular, to the extent that formaldehyde is contained in some of the components used to construct
your RV or holding tank chemicals, you should properly ventilate your RV to maintain good indoor air quality in
the RV. Recreational vehicles are much smaller than homes and therefore the exchange of air inside a recreational
vehicle is significantly less than a home. Therefore, ventilation should occur frequently before, during and after use,
and at times when the temperatures and humidity are elevated. Decreasing the flow of air by sealing the recreational
vehicle may increase the presence and/or concentration of indoor air pollutants, such as mold, household chemicals
and formaldehyde.
Finally, we recommend that you do not smoke inside your recreational vehicle. In addition to causing damage to
your recreational vehicle, tobacco smoke releases formaldehyde and other air pollutants.
If you have any questions regarding the health effects of formaldehyde or any other air pollutants, please consult
your doctor or local health department.
California Air Resource Board (CARB) Notice
Formaldehyde is used widely in building materials such as pressed wood products, particleboard, hardwood
plywood paneling, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and plywood which are commonly used throughout the
Recreational Vehicle Industry. As mandated by the RV Industry, Dutchmen recreational vehicles contain composite
wood products (hardwood plywood, particle board, and MDF) that comply with the California Air Resource
Board (CARB) [Phase 2] formaldehyde emission standards under California Code of Regulations § 93120.2(a).
Web Sites of Interest
We also recommend that you visit the following web sites which maintain information about indoor air pollutants,
including molds and formaldehyde, along with ways to improve indoor air quality:
• http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidest.html
• http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts111.html
• http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/moldguide.html (Applies to controlling mold in the home, but the same
recommendations would apply to trailers)
• http://www.formaldehyde.org/ (Formaldehyde Council’s Web site)
• http://rvia.org/ (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s Web site – Under the Technical Information
& Training tab, click on Facts about Formaldehyde)
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Chapter 4: Tires, Axles & Weights
Tire Safety Information
This portion of the Owner’s Manual contains tire safety information as required by 49 CFR 575.6(4) and is based in
part on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Brochure entitled “Tire Safety-Everything Rides on It.”
It can be obtained and downloaded from NHTSA, free of charge, from the following web site:
http://www.NHTSA.dot.gov/cars/rules/TireSafety/ridesonit/tires_index.html
Studies of tire safety show that maintaining proper tire pressure, observing tire and vehicle load limits (not carrying
more weight in your vehicle than your tires or vehicle can safely handle), avoiding road hazards, driving within the
designated tire speed ratings, and inspecting tires for cuts, slashes, and other irregularities are the most important
things you can do to avoid tire failure, such as tread separation or blowout and flat tires.
These actions, along with other care and maintenance activities, can also:
• Improve vehicle handling
• Help protect you and others from avoidable breakdowns and accidents
• Improve fuel economy
• Increase the life of your tires.
Use this information to make tire safety a regular part of your vehicle maintenance routine. Recognize that the time
you spend is minimal compared with the inconvenience and safety consequences of a flat tire or other tire failure.
Safety First – Basic Tire Maintenance
Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and load-carrying capability of your vehicle.
Under-inflated tires and overloaded vehicles are a major cause of tire failure. Therefore, as mentioned above, to
avoid flat tires and other types of tire failure, you should maintain proper tire pressure, observe tire and vehicle load
limits, avoid road hazards, and regularly inspect your tires.
Recommended Tire Pressure and Load Limits
Tire information placards and vehicle certification labels contain information on tires and load limits. These labels
indicate the vehicle manufacturer’s information including:
• Recommended tire size
• Recommended tire inflation pressure
• Cargo weight (the maximum cargo weight a vehicle is designed to carry)
• Front and rear gross axle weight ratings (GAWR– the maximum weight the axle systems are designed to
carry).
Both placards and certification labels are permanently attached to the trailer. See “Weight Ratings - Labels” in this
chapter for location and detailed information.
Understanding Tire Pressure and Load Limits
Tire inflation pressure is the level of air in the tire that provides it with load-carrying capacity and affects the overall
performance of the vehicle. The tire inflation pressure is a number that indicates the amount of air pressure–
measured in pounds per square inch (psi)–a tire requires to be properly inflated. (You will also find this number on
the vehicle information placard expressed in kilo pascals (kPa), which is the metric measure used internationally.)
Vehicle manufacturers determine this number based on the vehicle’s design load limit, that is, the greatest amount
of weight a vehicle can safely carry and the vehicle’s tire size. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is referred to
as the “recommended cold inflation pressure.” (As you will read below, it is difficult to obtain the recommended tire
pressure if your tires are not cold.)
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Because tires are designed to be used on more than one type of vehicle, tire manufacturers list the “maximum
permissible inflation pressure” on the tire sidewall. This number is the greatest amount of air pressure that should
ever be put in the tire under normal driving conditions.
Checking Tire Pressure
It is important to check your vehicle’s tire pressure at least once a month for the following reasons:
• Most tires may naturally lose air over time
• Tires can lose air suddenly if you drive over a pothole or other object or if you strike the curb when
parking
• With radial tires, it is usually not possible to determine under-inflation by visual inspection
For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Gauges can be purchased at tire dealerships,
auto supply stores, and other retail outlets.
The recommended tire inflation pressure that vehicle manufacturers provide reflects the proper psi when a tire is
cold. The term cold does not relate to the outside temperature. Rather, a cold tire is one that has not been driven
on for at least three hours. When you drive, your tires get warmer, causing the air pressure within them to increase.
Therefore, to get an accurate tire pressure reading, you must measure tire pressure when the tires are cold or
compensate for the extra pressure in warm tires.
Steps for Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure
1. Locate the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle’s Tire and Loading Information label located on the
exterior front left side wall.
2. Record the tire pressure of all tires.
3. If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve
stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.
4. If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire
pressure. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you will need to add.
5. At a service station or using an air compressor, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is
under-inflated.
6. Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure.
If you have been driving your vehicle and think that a tire is under-inflated, fill it to the recommended cold inflation
pressure indicated on your vehicle’s Tire and Loading Information label. While your tire may still be slightly underinflated due to the extra pounds of pressure in the warm tire, it is safer to drive with air pressure that is slightly
lower than the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended cold inflation pressure than to drive with a significantly underinflated tire. Since this is a temporary fix, don’t forget to recheck and adjust the tire’s pressure when you can obtain a
cold reading.
Tire Safety Tips
Preventing Tire Damage
• Slow down if you have to go over a pothole or other object in the road.
• Do not run over curbs or other foreign objects in the roadway or when parking.
Tire Safety Checklist
• Check tire pressure regularly (at least once a month), including the spare.
• Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs of wear or
trauma.
• Remove bits of glass and foreign objects wedged in the tread.
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• Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
• Check tire pressure before going on a long trip.
• Do not overload your vehicle. Check the Tire Information and Loading Label.
Tire Tread
The tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent your vehicle from slipping or sliding, especially
when the road is wet or icy. In general, tires are not safe and should be replaced when the tread is worn down to
1/16 of an inch. Tires have built-in tread-wear indicators that let you know when it is time to replace your tires.
These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear
“even” with the outside of the tread, it is time to replace your tires. Another method for checking tread depth is to
place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head,
you are ready for new tires.
Condition
Possible Cause
Remedy
Even Center
Wear
Over-Inflation
Check & Adjust
Pressure When
Cold
Inside & Outside
Wear
Under-Inflation
Check & Adjust
Pressure When
Cold
Smooth Outside
Wear (One
Side)
Check & Unload
as Necessary
Loss of Camber
and / or Have
or Over-Loading
Alignment
Checked
“Feathering”
Across the Face
Axle Not Square
to Frame or
Incorrect Toe-In
Square Axles
and / or Have
Alignment
Checked
Cupping
Loose Bearings
or Wheel
Balance
Check Bearing
Adjustment and
Wheel & Tire
Balance
Flat Spots
Wheel Lock-Up
Adjust Bakes
Tire Size
To maintain tire safety, purchase new tires that are the same size as the vehicle’s original tires or another size
recommended by the manufacturer. Look at the Tire and Loading Information label, or the sidewall of the tire you
are replacing to find this information. If you have any doubt about the correct size to choose, consult with the tire
dealer.
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Tire Labeling
Federal law requires tire manufacturers to place standardized information on the sidewall of all tires. This
information identifies and describes the fundamental characteristics of the tire and also provides a tire identification
number for safety standard certification and in case of a recall.
Tire Size and Type Designation
For example the tires on your unit may be marked with a designation of standard trailer (ST)225/75R15 or light
truck (LT)235/85R16.
Next number - This three-digit number gives the width in millimeters of the tire from sidewall edge to sidewall edge.
In general, the larger the number, the wider the tire.
Next number - This two-digit number, known as the aspect ratio, gives the tire’s ratio of height to width.
R - The “R” stands for radial.
Next number - This two-digit number is the wheel or rim diameter in inches.
US DOT Tire Identification Number (TIN)
This begins with the letters “DOT” and indicates that the tire meets all federal standards. The next two numbers or
letters are the plant code where it was manufactured, and the last four numbers represent the week and year the tire
was built. For example, the numbers 3197 means the 31st week of 1997. The other numbers are marketing codes
used at the manufacturer’s discretion. This information is used to contact consumers if a tire defect requires a recall.
Tire Ply Composition and Materials Used
The number of plies indicates the number of layers of rubber-coated fabric in the tire. In general, the greater the
number of plies, the more weight a tire can support. Tire manufacturers also must indicate the materials in the tire,
which include steel, nylon, polyester, and others.
Maximum Load Rating
This number indicates the maximum load in kilograms and pounds that can be carried by the tire.
Maximum Permissible Inflation Pressure
This number is the greatest amount of air pressure that should ever be put in the tire under normal driving
conditions.
Speed Rating
Typically tires with a ST designation are speed restricted to 65mph under normal inflation and load conditions.
Typically tires with a LT designation are speed restricted to 75mph under normal inflation and load conditions. Do
not exceed these speed ratings regardless of the posted maximum speed limit.
Vehicle Load Limits
Determining the load limits of a vehicle includes more than understanding the load limits of the tires alone.
On a trailer, there is a Federal Certification Label that is located on the forward half of the left (road) side of the
unit.
The certification label will indicate the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This is the most weight the
fully loaded vehicle can weigh. It will also provide the gross axle weight rating (GAWR). This is the most a particular
axle can weigh. If there are multiple axles, the GAWR of each axle will be provided.
In the same location as the certification label described above, there is a vehicle placard. This placard provides tire
and loading information. In addition, this placard will show a statement regarding maximum cargo capacity.
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Cargo Capacities
Cargo can be added to the vehicle, up to the maximum weight specified on the placard. The combined weight of
the cargo is provided as a single number. In any case, remember: the total weight of a fully loaded vehicle can not
exceed the stated GVWR.
Water and propane also need to be considered. The weight of fully filled propane containers is considered part of
the weight of the RV before it is loaded with cargo and is not considered part of the disposable cargo load. Water
however, is a cargo weight and is treated as such. If there is a fresh water storage tank of 100 gallons, this tank
when filled would weigh about 800 pounds. If more cargo is being transported, water can be off-loaded to keep
the total amount of cargo added to the vehicle within the limits of the GVWR so as not to overload the vehicle.
Understanding this flexibility will allow you, the owner, to make choices that fit your travel and camping needs.
For more information on cargo weight distribution, see the section “Weight Distribution” in Chapter 5.
How Overloading Affects Your RV and Tires
The results of overloading can have serious consequences for passenger safety. Too much weight on your vehicle’s
suspension system can cause spring, shock absorber, or brake failure, handling or steering problems, irregular tire
wear, tire failure or other damage. An overloaded vehicle is hard to drive and hard to stop. In cases of serious
overloading, brakes can fail completely, particularly on steep hills. The load a tire will carry safely is a combination
of the size of tire, its load range, and corresponding inflation pressure. Excessive loads and/or under-inflation cause
tire overloading and, as a result, abnormal tire flexing occurs. This situation can generate an excessive amount of heat
within the tire. Excessive heat may lead to tire failure. It is the air pressure that enables a tire to support the load, so
proper inflation is critical. Since RVs can be configured and loaded in many ways, air pressures must be determined
from actual loads (determined by weighing) and taken from the load and inflation tables provided by the tire
manufacturer. These air pressures may differ from those found on the certification label. However, they should never
exceed the tire limitation for load or air pressure. If you discover that your tires cannot support the actual weights,
the load will need to be lightened.
Steps For Determining Correct Load Limit
1. Locate the statement “The weight of cargo should never exceed XXX KG or XXX LBS” on your vehicles
Cargo Carrying Capacity label. See “Weight Ratings - Labels” in this chapter.
2. This figure equals the available amount of cargo and luggage load capacity.
3. Determine the combined weight of luggage and cargo being loaded on the vehicle. That weight may not
safely exceed the available cargo and luggage load capacity.
Tire Warranty
Dutchmen Manufacturing does not administer the warranty for tires. Please contact the tire manufacturer direct at:
1. Duro - 866-788-2060 - www.durotire.com/
2. Tireco (Freestar, Geostar, Mudstar, Mobile Max, Geotrac) - 800-937-9433 - www.tireco.com/
3. Goodyear - 800-321-2136 - www.goodyear.com/
4. TBC (TowMax, Roadrider, Trailer King, Solid Trac, Saliun) - 800-238-6469
5. Voma (Liberty) - 901-672-0816
6. Michelin (Uniroyal) - 800-847-8475 - www.michelinman.com/
7. Alliance (Galaxy) - 800-343-3276 - www.atgtire.com/
8. Tredit Tire & Wheel (H188ST, Grand Ride, Trail America, Super A, Triangle) - 800-537-2925 http://www.tredittire.com
9. Americana Tire & Wheel - 574-522-9450 - http://www.americanatire.com.
10. Lionshead Specialty Tire - 574-533-6169
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Weight Ratings & Definitions
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
The maximum permissible weight of this trailer when fully loaded. It includes the maximum allowable weight at the
trailer axle(s) plus the hitch (tongue/pin) weight.
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)
The weight of this trailer as manufactured at the factory. It includes all weight at the trailer’s axle(s) and hitch. If
applicable, it also includes full generator fluids, fuel, engine oil and coolants.
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)
U.S.-Equal to GVWR minus the UVW and LP gas weight. (Water is considered a component of cargo)
Canada-Equal to GVWR minus the UVW, full fresh (potable) water weight (including the water heater) and full LP
gas weight.
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
The maximum permissible weight on an axle(s) when fully loaded.
Hitch (Tongue/Pin) Weight
The weight of the trailer that is transferred to the hitch of the tow vehicle when hooked up.
Weight Ratings - Labels
There are four labels that use weight information. They are the Federal tag, Tire and Loading Information label and
the Cargo Carrying Capacity label and, in the case of a Canadian unit, a different Cargo Carrying Capacity label.
• Federal Certification Label - This label specifies maximum capacities for GVWR, GAWR and tires. It is
located on exterior left front of vehicle.
• Tire and Loading Information label - This label specifies the maximum amount of cargo that can be
safely added to the trailer. It is located on the exterior front left of vehicle.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
21
• Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) label (US) - This label supplies the CCC information for the customer.
It is located on the backside of the screen door or the door jam of the main entry into the trailer.
• Cargo Carrying Capacity label (Canada) - This label supplies the CCC information for the customer. It
is located on the exterior front left of the vehicle, next to the Federal Certification label.
Weighing Your Unit
•
•
•
•
Pull on the scales until only the trailer axles are on the scale. Record axle weight.
Unhook the trailer on the scale to get a total weight of the trailer.
To determine hitch weight subtract the axle weight from the total weight.
Note: To calculate suspension weights/ratings, it is necessary to subtract the hitch weight. This weight is
being carried on the tow vehicle, not by the suspension of the trailer.
If the total weight of the trailer exceeds the GVWR, the unit is overloaded. Operating your
trailer while exceeding the specified weight ratings increases the risk of a crash, personal injury
and death. It is necessary to remove payload (equipment, personal belongings, water, etc) until
the total weight of the trailer no longer exceeds the GVWR before operating the unit.
If the weight on the trailer axles exceeds the GAWR, the axles are overloaded. Operating your
trailer while exceeding the specified weight ratings increases the risk of a crash, personal injury
and death. It is necessary to remove or rearrange payload (equipment, personal belongings,
water, etc) until the axle weight no longer exceeds the GAWR before operating the unit.
Not operating your RV within the designed weight ratings can damage to your recreational
vehicle which is not covered under warranty.
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Axles & Suspension
Dutchmen selects the axles, suspension, tires and wheels applicable to the specific application of the unit. In
addition to the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), each of these components have specific weight ratings and
limitations for proper operation.
Exceeding the established weight ratings for the axles, running gear, tires and wheels can lead to
failure that can affect motor vehicle safety and lead to property damage or damage to the trailer.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.dexter.com
or www.al-kousa.com.
Suspension
In most cases, there are two types of suspension used on Dutchmen units, Leaf Spring or Rubberized suspension.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
Shock Absorbers
If equipped, shock absorbers may provide a “ride enhancement” to the trailer. They do not affect the stability or
towability of the trailer.
Spare Tire
If equipped, can be utilized in an emergency if a trailer tire loses air pressure or goes flat. Certain brands use
different wheels than original with the intent for the spare to be temporary.
Tire Changing Basics
1. Use emergency flares when near a road or highway.
2. Block the wheels on the opposite side from the tire you wish to change to prevent accidental movement.
3. Position a hydraulic jack on the frame close to the spring hanger. (Never attempt to use a stabilizer jack
to lift the unit)
4. Raise the trailer until the tire clears the ground.
5. Set a jack stand under the frame just to the rear of the tire being changed.
6. Follow the Wheel Nut Torque and Wheel Reinstallation instructions provided in this section.
Wheel Nut Torque
The information contained in these printed instructions outlines the most recently recommended processes
involving Lug Nut Torque and takes precedent over any information regarding Lug Nut Torque shown in your
Lippert, Dexter or AL-KO Owner’s Manuals.
Always torque wheel nuts to the wheel manufacturer’s
specifications. Over or under-torqued wheel nuts can cause
the wheel to separate from the wheel mounting surface during
operation, causing property damage, personal injury or loss of life.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
23
The axle and wheel assemblies of your RV are designed differently than those on
your car. The overall size, weight and center of gravity of a recreational vehicle
subject the wheels to pressures unique to trailering. During normal cornering,
the tires and wheels experience a considerable amount of stress called “sideload”. Therefore, the lug nuts on your recreational vehicle require periodic torque
maintenance.
These instructions will show you how to maintain proper lug nut torque by
following these important steps:
1. Check torque before every trip
2. Use proper tools
3. Follow the appropriate star pattern sequence
4. Torque lug nuts in the correct stages and follow-up
intervals after any wheel reinstallation.
Torque is the amount of rotating force applied to a fastener, such as a
lug nut. Proper torque of lug nuts can only be achieved by using:
• Torque wrench (Dial indicator or Adjustable dial, not
supplied by Dutchmen)
• 7/8” or 13/16” socket (Not supplied by Dutchmen)
Note
Some wheel assemblies require an extension. DO NOT USE a flexible
extension. Also, DO NOT USE a 4-way socket or any other type of wrench
which does not measure the actual pressure applied to the lug nut.
Using Torque Wrenches
• Most torque wrenches are required to be set at “0” when not in use to maintain calibration.
• Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for further information on care and use.
Setting Torque Value on a Dial Indicator Wrench
1. Make sure your indicator needle is set to “0”.
2. As you apply clockwise pressure to the lug nut, both needles will show the current amount of torque
being applied.
3. When you reach your desired torque value, stop applying pressure and your indicator needle will stay at
the highest torque value reached.
Setting Torque Value of Adjustable Dial Wrench
1. Unlock the handle and set the dial to your desired torque value.
2. Lock the handle back in place.
3. As you apply clockwise pressure to the lug nut, you will hear an audible “click” when the desired torque
wrench value is reached. Do not apply further pressure once you hear the “click”.
Pre-Trip Maintenance
24
Always remember
• Check lug nut torque before every trip. Dutchmen Manufacturing recommends this maintenance
procedure to ensure proper torque has been applied to lug nuts before heading out on the road.
• Lug nuts should be torqued to 110-120 ft/lbs (140-150 ft/lbs on hubs using a 9/16” stud).
• Always follow the appropriate star pattern as indicated in these instructions or in your axle
manufacturer’s owner’s manual to assure proper torque.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Pre-Trip Procedure
1. Set your torque wrench to 110-120 ft/lbs (140-150 ft/lbs for 9/16” stud).
2. Begin with the appropriate bolt for your wheel (12 o’clock position for 8 and 6 hole wheels and 2 o’clock
position for 5 hole wheels, as illustrated) and apply torque to all lug nuts following the star pattern
indicated.
3. Complete the procedure on each wheel. Before moving to each new wheel, be sure to verify your preset
torque wrench value.
Always torque wheel nuts to the wheel manufacturer’s specifications. Over or undertorqued wheel nuts can cause the wheel to separate from the wheel mounting surface during
operation, causing property damage, personal injury or loss of life.
Wheel Reinstallation
After removing a wheel from your RV for any reason, you must carefully follow a 2 step process:
1. Wheel Reinstallation
2. Follow-up
Step 1) Wheel Reinstallation
During wheel reinstallation, the lug nut torque must be applied in 3 stages. This will ensure the wheel studs are
centered in the wheel holes, and will help the lug nuts maintain proper torque.
Start all lug nuts by hand.
Stage 1: Set your torque wrench to 20-30 ft/lbs (50-60 ft/lbs for 9/16” stud).
Begin with the appropriate bolt for your wheel (12 o’clock position for 8 and
6 hole wheels and 2 o’clock position for 5 hole wheels, as illustrated) and apply
torque to all lug nuts following the star pattern indicated.
Stage 2: Increase your torque wrench setting to 55-60 ft/lbs (90-100 ft/lbs for
9/16” stud).
Begin with the appropriate bolt for your wheel and apply torque to all lug nuts
following the star pattern indicated.
Following stage 2, the wheel can support the weight of the trailer and can be
lowered off of the jack stand.
Stage 3: Increase your torque wrench setting to 110-120 ft/lbs (140-150 ft/lbs for
9/16” stud).
Begin with the appropriate bolt for your wheel (as illustrated) and apply torque to all lug nuts following the star
pattern indicated.
Step 2) Follow-Up: Retorque after 10, 25, and 50 miles:
1. After the first 10 miles of your trip, pull your recreation vehicle off the road into a safe work area.
2. Set your torque wrench to 110-120 ft/lbs (140-150 ft/lbs for 9/16” stud).
3. Begin with the appropriate bolt for your wheel and apply torque to all lug nuts following the star pattern
indicated.
4. Reapply torque (at 110-120 ft/lbs or 140-150 ft/lbs for 9/16” stud) and repeat steps 1, 2, & 3 again at
25 miles and at 50 miles of your first trip.
The follow up process is complete and you should refer to the general lug nut torque maintenance process described
in “Pre-Trip Maintenance”.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
25
Wheel Nut Torque Sequence
Note
If you are uncertain or unfamiliar with any
procedure, please contact your local dealer.
Summary
1. Check torque before every trip
2. Use proper tools
3. Follow the appropriate star pattern sequence
4. Torque lug nuts in the correct stages and follow-up intervals after any wheel reinstallation.
Do not tow the trailer with missing lug nuts or faulty lug
bolts. An increased risk of wheel separation will occur.
Installation of wheels which are not compatible with the manufacturer installed axle assembly
could result in wheel separation, which can lead to property damage, serious injuries or loss of life.
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Chapter 5: Towing Considerations
Getting Started
Tow Vehicle Selection
We recommend the tow vehicle selected have a trailer weight rating to handle at least the Gross Vehicle Weight
Rating (GVWR) of the RV you have selected. Please consult with your tow vehicle’s dealer for more information
about the specific ratings of your tow vehicle.
Hooking up to the Tow Vehicle
Fifth-Wheel
1. Adjust the landing gear jacks until coach is at level for hooking to the tow vehicle.
2. Place wheel chocks behind fifth-wheel’s tires.
3. Lower the tailgate on truck.
4. Release the fifth-wheel lock handle on the tow vehicle.
5. Back up slowly to line up the tow vehicle so the fifth-wheel will accept the kingpin.
6. Close and latch tailgate.
7. Back truck slowly until kingpin engages the fifth-wheel and automatically locks.
8. Engage the hitch lock and secure with a padlock or pin.
9. Connect the power cord between the tow vehicle and the fifth-wheel.
10.Connect the emergency breakaway switch cable.
11.Check all lights on trailer and tow vehicle (running, turn signals, brake, back-up).
12.Completely raise the landing gear and store the wheel chocks.
13.Pull forward and check the operation of the trailer brakes with the hand control to assure proper
operation. Refer to manufacturer specifications on setting the brake control.
Travel-Trailer
1. Crank the tongue of the trailer jack up until the hitch coupler is high enough to clear the tow vehicle.
2. Back the tow vehicle to the trailer until the hitch ball is directly under the coupler on the trailer.
3. Set the parking brakes, raise the locking latch on the coupler and crank it down on the ball.
4. Move the locking latch down to lock it on the ball. Secure with a padlock or pin.
5. Connect the power cord between the tow vehicle and the trailer.
6. Connect the breakaway switch to the tow vehicle.
7. Install the weight distribution bars and sway control. Refer to the hitch manufacturers directions for
proper hook up and adjustment.
8. Crank the jack all the way up.
9. Install and adjust side mirrors.
10.Check all lights on the trailer and tow vehicle (running, turn signals, brakes, back-up).
11.Pull forward and check the operation of the trailer brakes with the hand control to assure proper
operation. Refer to manufacturer specifications on setting the brake control.
Dutchmen RV Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
27
Tow Vehicle Set up
Weight Distribution
Proper weight and load distribution is absolutely essential to safe towing. Before your first trip, load your unit with
the weight distributed evenly (front to rear, side to side) with all personal belongings, equipment, food, water, etc.
you feel are needed and weigh the unit as shown in Chapter 4 “Weighing Your Unit”. Compare the weights of the
unit to the weight ratings of the RV. Keep the loaded tongue weight between 10% and 15% of the total weight
for travel trailers and between 15% and 25% of total weight for fifth wheels. More detailed information for Ramp
Trailers can be found in Chapter 12 under the heading “Ramp Trailer Weight Distribution”.
Locate and secure cargo and vehicles to maintain safe weight distribution in the cargo
area and throughout the trailer.
Improper weight distribution or overloading could lead to loss of vehicle control during
travel resulting in serious injury or death.
Follow all guidelines contained in this manual for loading and weighing procedures.
Maintain the loaded hitch weight within the percent levels stated above. Where
applicable, a hitch with built in sway control is recommended. Do not exceed the
GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) or the GAWR (gross axle weight rating) of either
the tow trailer or tow vehicle.
Brake Control
A brake control is a device that is installed in the tow vehicle that activates the electric trailer brakes. Your trailer
brakes should work in synchronization with your tow vehicle brakes. Never use your tow vehicle or trailer brakes
alone to stop the combined load. Your brake controller must be set up according to the brake control manufacturer’s
specifications to ensure proper synchronization between the tow vehicle and the trailer. Additionally, you may have
to make small adjustments occasionally to accommodate changing loads and driving conditions.
Hitch Selection
The hitch must be rated over the GVWR and the hitch weight of the trailer. Weight specifications can be found at
www.Dutchmen.com. Dutchmen RV does not supply the tow vehicle hitch, weight distribution bars or the sway
control. Your RV dealer will be able to help with proper hitch selection for your tow vehicle.
Weight Distribution Bars - Travel Trailer
Weight distribution bars transfer weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the front axle and the trailer axles.
Properly set up, they will control up and down oscillation at the hitch while towing. Weight distribution bars do
not control sway. Dutchmen recommends weight distribution bars for safe towing. Your dealer will be able to assist
with proper selection for your specific tow vehicle and travel trailer setup.
Sway Controls - Travel Trailer
A sway control device is installed by dealers as part of the hitch set up and prevents sway (or fishtailing) while
towing. Dutchmen recommends a sway control device that will prevent sway (or fishtailing) for safe towing. If you
experience sway while towing, contact your dealer immediately for corrective action. Some less expensive brands of
sway control are not adequate to control sway in larger travel trailers. The sway control must be properly set up for
it to be effective. Your dealer will be able to assist with proper selection for your specific tow vehicle and travel trailer
setup.
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Dutchmen RV Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Safety Chains - Travel Trailers
Safety chains are included with every travel trailer and, in most states, are required when towing a travel-trailer.
Hook them to the safety chain loops provided on the tow vehicle’s hitch, crossing them under the trailer tongue.
Inspect the length of the chains once attached to the tow vehicle frame. They should be long enough to allow for
turns, but short enough to avoid any drag.
Always use safety chains when towing. They maintain the connection between the travel
trailer and tow vehicle in the event of the trailer becoming detached during travel.
Breakaway Switch
The breakaway switch is another safety device as it provides a means of automatically slowing and stopping your RV
if it should become detached from the tow vehicle during transit. The cable from the breakaway switch should be
attached to the tow vehicle and if a separation occurs, the pin is pulled out of the switch which activates the brakes
of the trailer to slow and eventually stop the trailer. The breakaway switch is only powered by a 12 volt RV battery
on the trailer. The RV battery is not supplied by Dutchmen. Please consult your RV dealer to purchase the proper
battery.
How to Test the Breakaway Switch
1. Disconnect the 7-way trailer cord from the RV to the tow vehicle
2. Pull the lanyard pin out to the first stage
3. Brakes should audibly engage
4. Double check by moving the tow vehicle forward slightly to be sure the RV brakes have locked and are
operating correctly
Disconnect the seven-way trailer cord from the tow vehicle prior to testing the
breakaway switch. Failure to do so may cause damage to the brake controller.
Lights
Check all electrical connections to ensure all lights on the tow vehicle and travel-trailer are functioning properly.
The brake lights, hazards and turn signals should be in synchronization with the tow vehicle. See “7-way Plug” in
Chapter 8.
Mirrors
Adjust the mirrors on the tow vehicle prior to departure. Having someone to assist you will make this safety step
quick and easy. First line up the tow vehicle and trailer. Next, sit in the driver’s seat and adjust the left mirror to
where you can see the entire left side of the trailer and well beyond. Finally, while still sitting in the driver’s seat,
have someone adjust the right mirror until the same result is achieved. Some vehicles may require the use of mirror
extensions to properly see down the side of the trailer. See your Dutchmen dealer for recommendations.
Also to consider
•
•
•
•
•
Crank the TV antenna down into the travel position.
Disconnect all park connections and securely store.
Close and secure all doors, windows, awnings and roof vents
Return the entry step to the travel position.
Refer to the “Pre-Travel Checklist” located in the Appendix
Dutchmen RV Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
29
Towing
Towing a recreational vehicle can be enjoyable if special attention toward safety is applied every time you tow your
trailer. Before heading out on your first camping trip practice turning, stopping and backing in low traffic areas or
large parking lots.
Driving with a trailer in tow is different. Start out slowly, checking the traffic after signaling and being sure the
road is clear. Accelerate slowly and evenly, checking the mirrors frequently as you move into the proper lane. Try to
drive with an anticipation of problems that may occur way ahead and prepare for them, even though they may never
happen.
As a motorist sharing the road, you are taller, heavier, longer and require more time and distance to stop. Weather
and road conditions will require adjustments to speed. Anticipate dips, gutters, and depressions in the road, slowing
down well in advance, these are the hardest jolts of any kind on your vehicle, hitch, recreational vehicle and items
stored inside the unit. Take dips and bumps slowly and be certain the trailer wheels have passed the point before
accelerating.
Controlling Sway or Fishtailing
Sway or fishtailing is the sideways action of a trailer caused by external forces. It is common for travel trailers to
sway in response to strong winds or crosswinds or when passed by or passing a semi-tractor and trailer or driving
downhill.
Excessive sway or fishtailing of your travel trailer can lead to the rollover
of the trailer and tow vehicle. Serious injury or death can occur. It is
important that you read and understand the information in this section.
Sway or fishtailing of your recreation vehicle can be controlled and is primarily impacted by four factors:
• Equipment
• Tongue weight
• Driving
• Corrective measures
Equipment – When hitched together, the trailer and the tow vehicle must be level. The tires of both the trailer and
tow vehicle should be in good condition and inflated to the pressure recommended as noted on the tire placards of
the trailer and tow vehicle. See “Hitch Selection”, “Weight Distribution Bars”, & “Sway Controls” in this chapter
for more information on equipment to control sway.
Tongue Weight - See “Weight Distribution” in this chapter for information on maintaining proper tongue weight.
Driving – This is the most important component. The tendency for the vehicle to sway increases with speed
therefore, obey all speed limits and reduce speed during inclement weather or windy conditions.
Corrective measures – If sway occurs the following techniques should be used:
1. Slow down immediately, remove your foot from the accelerator. Avoid using the tow vehicle brakes
unless there is a danger of collision. Reduce speed gradually whenever possible. If you can do so safely,
use the brake hand controller (independent of the tow vehicle brakes) to gently and progressively apply
the trailer brakes. This will help to keep the vehicles aligned. Practice using the brake hand controller in
a deserted parking lot. Don’t wait until an emergency occurs before using it. Location of the brake hand
controller is important and should be made easily accessible.
2. Steer as little as possible while maintaining control of the vehicle. Because of natural reaction lag time,
quick steering movements to counter trailer sway will actually cause increased sway and loss of control.
Keep both hands on the wheel. Hold the wheel as straight as possible until stability is regained.
3. Do not jam on the brakes or attempt to press on the accelerator to speed your way out of the fishtailing.
Both actions make the situation worse and could cause severe injury or death.
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Dutchmen RV Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
4. Once the swaying is under control, stop as soon as possible. Check tire pressures, cargo weight
distribution and look for any signs of mechanical failure. Travel at reduced speeds that permit full
control until the problem can be identified and corrected.
Backing
Back with care. Having a person outside to assist is a good idea. If no one is available to help, the driver should
inspect the area behind the vehicle to avoid any unseen obstacles and unpleasant surprises.
Braking
Start braking sooner than you would if driving without a trailer in tow. Stopping distances are increased while
towing a trailer. See “Brake Control” in this chapter.
Passing and Accelerating
Remember when you pass another vehicle that it takes longer to accelerate and additional time must be allowed
due to the added length of the trailer. Passing should be done on level terrain and downshift, if necessary for added
acceleration. Whenever deciding to pass another vehicle, exercise caution and always use the turn signals.
Sharply Winding and Narrow Roads
Keep well to the center of the lane, equally away from both the center line and pavement edge. This allows the
trailer to clear the edge of the pavement without the likelihood of the wheels dropping onto the shoulder, causing
potential dangerous sway. Do not crowd or cross the center line.
Steep or Long Grades
Down shifting into a lower gear or range in advance assists braking on descents and adds power on the climb. Avoid
situations that require excessive and prolonged use of the brakes. Apply and release brakes at short intervals to give
them a chance to cool.
Slippery Pavement
On slippery and icy pavement, reduce speed and drive slowly. Hydroplaning can occur with little water on the
pavement. If skidding begins, remove your foot from the throttle and gently apply the trailer brakes only.
Freeways and Highways
Try to pick the lane in which you want to move and stay in it, preferably keeping to the slower lane on the right.
Turning Corners
Here is where you find a first basic difference when towing. The trailer wheels do not follow the path of your tow
vehicle’s wheels. The trailer will make a closer turn than the tow vehicle. Compensate by pulling further into the
intersection so that the trailer will clear the curb or clear any parked vehicles along the road. Left turns require a
wider than normal swing into the new lane of traffic to keep the trailer from edging into the opposing lane. Use the
turn signals early to communicate to traffic behind and slow down well in advance.
Mud and Sand
Let the momentum of the tow vehicle and trailer carry you through. Apply power gently and stay in the tracks of
the previous vehicle. If stuck, tow the trailer and tow vehicle out together without unhitching.
Additional towing safety information can be found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web site.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/Cars/problems/Equipment/towing/Towing.pdf
Dutchmen RV Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
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Chapter 6: Unit Set Up at Destination
Site Requirements and Selection
Electrical
Do you need 30 or 50 amp service? What will you be running in the camper will help decide this. If you will
be running one roof a/c, refrigerator and converter most of the time and the microwave periodically, we would
recommend at least 30 amp service. You may not be able to run the microwave and roof a/c at the same time, but it
is easy to adjust the thermostat of the roof a/c so it will not be running while the microwave is. Two roof a/c’s will
need 50 amp service. Please refer to Chapter 8 Electrical Systems for an amperage consumption chart which will
help decide your needs. See video at www.keystonerv.com.
Antenna/Satellite
If equipped, be sure your selected site will allow you to set-up to get these signals.
Sewer
Holding tank sizes can vary significantly by brand and floor plan. How large are your holding tanks? How long and
how many people will be using the facilities? How much water is typically used? Answering these questions will
help you decide if you should go for the added cost of a sewer hook up at your campsite. You might just consider
a site closer to the campground facilities. If you do choose a site with a sewer hook up, DO NOT leave the valves
open. Please refer to Chapter 10 Plumbing for more detail.
Water
In most instances, water and electric come in combination. Should you be without a water source for city water,
you can fill your water tank and utilize the on board water pump. Once again, holding tank sizes can vary
significantly by brand and floor plan so know how many gallons your fresh water tank is and monitor how many
people are using the facilities and how often so you don’t leave yourself dry.
Campsite
Many campsites offer ‘pull through’ sites that require no backing up. When you do not have this option and
backing will be required, set yourself up to back into the site from the left. This allows you to see the entire “Drivers
Side” while you are backing into your site. Backing in from the right can be done, you are just not able to see as
well. Before beginning, safely park and survey the campsite for fire pits, stumps, posts, trees, low tree branches, etc
and decide where you want the camper to end up. Use a spotter to help guide you into position. If you are alone,
ask a neighbor for some help, you might meet a new friend.
While entering and exiting your campsite, be careful not to cut your turn short and clip something. Once again, we
recommend a spotter to assist.
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Unit Set Up
Once you have arrived and parked in your campsite, before removing the camper from your tow vehicle, your
camper needs to be leveled to assure proper operation of certain features (refrigerator, slide-outs, etc.)
The following label has been placed on the interior of the main entry door and reads as follows:
‘Do not utilize this RV unless fully set up because a secondary means of escape is not available. May result in death
or serious injury.’
Leveling Procedures
1. Choose a site that is as level as possible (Some sites are equipped with a prepared surface such as concrete
or asphalt). Ensure the ground is not soft and will support the weight of jacks and/or other support
devices.
2. Before uncoupling, level the unit from side to side with suitable lengths of 2” x 6” wood blocks under
DO NOT overextend or retract the a-frame or landing jacks as that could cause
damage which would not be warrantable.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
the tires. Place the wood blocks on the ground forward of the wheels and tow the unit onto the blocks.
Use wheel chocks to be sure the unit cannot roll.
Use a small level in the refrigerator, on a counter top or floor of the trailer to make sure it is level.
Lower the A-frame jack (Travel Trailers) or landing jacks (Fifth Wheel) onto wood blocks (or other).
Once the unit is level, put wheel chocks or blocks in place so the unit can’t move, uncouple the unit
from the tow vehicle.
If equipped, lower the stabilizing jacks onto blocks until they firmly engage. Be sure all 4 jacks have
about the same pressure on them as to not put the unit in a twist. Doing so can cause slide-outs, doors,
etc. to bind and/or operate intermittently. DO NOT attempt to lift the unit with the stabilizer jacks.
These are not designed to bear weight, only help stabilize the unit from movement.
Before resuming travel, be sure the stabilizer jacks are fully retracted.
Stabilizing Jacks
Dependent upon the type (travel-trailer / fifth-wheel), product and model purchased, the stabilizer jacks included
will vary. Although stabilizer jacks come in different types and sizes, all perform the same function: To stabilize
the front and rear of all recreational vehicles while parked for camping. DO NOT attempt to lift the unit with the
stabilizer jacks. These are not designed to bear weight, only help stabilize the unit from movement. Please refer to
the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
33
Hook Ups
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Once the unit is safely leveled and stabilized, continue with set-up;
Connect the shore-line cord
Open the step.
Inside, set the Thermostat to the desired temperature (air conditioning/furnace), open a roof vent
and turn on the fan (if applicable) to create air exchange, turn on the refrigerator then complete the
remainder of the set up.
Turn on the LP
Connect the water hose
Connect the sewer hose, park cable, (if applicable)
Open slide-outs
Set up the remaining features as needed
Cold Weather Camping
Some units are equipped with additional features to enhance your ability to camp in cold weather. Depending
on your specific wants/needs, it may be necessary for you to take additional actions or invest in additional
enhancements to suit your particular needs. Consult your local Dutchmen dealer for more information regarding
after market equipment that may be available to adapt a model to your needs. The cost of these enhancements would
not be warrantable.
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Chapter 7: Appliances and Equipment
NOTE: In this section of the manual, we rely on the component manufacture manuals that have been
supplied with the RV for detailed operating instructions. Dutchmen can only provide a summary operational
description and recommend you review each of the component manuals before use of the component.
IF YOU SMELL PROPANE
1. Extinguish any open flames and all smoking materials.
2. Shut off the propane supply at the container valve(s) or propane supply
connection.
3. Do not touch electrical switches.
4. Open doors and other ventilating openings.
5. Leave the area until the odor clears.
6. Have the propane system checked and leakage source corrected before
using again.
IGNITION OF FLAMMABLE VAPORS COULD LEAD TO A FIRE OR
EXPLOSION AND RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Safety
Portable fuel-burning equipment, including wood and charcoal grills and stoves,
must not be used inside the recreational vehicle. The use of this equipment inside
the recreational vehicle may cause fires or asphyxiation.
Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions on the use of all appliances and observe all safety warnings and
instructions included.
Before camping, all campers should review and understand the locations of all safety equipment inside the coach and
all emergency exit windows as well as doors. An escape plan for emergencies whether at home or camping is always
a good idea.
Propane Appliance Maintenance
Follow the instructions and warnings noted in the appliance and equipment owner’s manual as well as the ones listed
below:
• Annual maintenance should be conducted on the propane appliances and equipment by an authorized
dealer or repair facility.
• Insects can build nests in the burners of the various appliances and equipment. The burner and burner
orifice of the propane appliances and equipment should be cleaned out by an authorized dealer or repair
facility anytime circumstances or conditions warrant, but no less frequently than on an annual basis.
Air Conditioner (Optional)
For those units equipped with roof mounted air conditioners, they operate on 120V AC power. There are different
sizes and variations available depending on the unit. An air conditioner takes a sizable amount of power to run.
Most RV electrical systems are designed with 30 amps of available power with some having 50 amp capability (See
Chapter 8, Electrical Systems). It may be necessary to reduce other loads when using air conditioning to reduce
the chance of overload and possibly tripping the main breaker. (For thermostat operation on the air conditioner,
see “Thermostat” in this section). In climates that experience high temperatures, a second air conditioner may be
necessary to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature on larger trailers. A second air conditioner requires 50 amp
service. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.
dometicusa.com or www.rvcomfort.com.
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Capability vs. Environment
At best, a properly functioning roof air conditioner will cool the intake air it receives by 20 degrees F. The capability
of the air conditioner to maintain the desired inside temperature is directly affected by the heat gain of the RV.
During extreme high outdoor temperatures, the heat gain of the vehicle may be reduced by:
1. Parking in a shaded area
2. Keeping blinds down or drapes shut
3. Operation on High Fan/Cooling mode will provide the maximum efficiency in high humidity or high
temperatures
4. Using awnings to block direct sunlight exposure on the unit
5. Avoiding use of heat producing appliances
6. Giving the A/C a “head start” by turning the air conditioner on early in the morning
Note
Never run the A/C without the filter. This could plug the
unit evaporator substantially effecting performance. Antenna (TV)
The two (2) primary components are the Antenna and the Booster. The booster will be typically located near one
of the TV locations and has switch to turn it on & off. The booster is designed to amplify the TV (Air) signal.
The antenna is designed to capture the best signal available by moving it to the optimal position. If your unit is
equipped with “Cable”, the booster must be off for the “Cable” signal to reach your desired TV locations.
Before raising the TV Antenna, be sure the area is clear of any electrical wires or other obstructions. Also, be sure to
properly stow the antenna before moving the unit. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the
unit for care and operation and/or www.winegard.com.
Do not raise TV antenna near overhead electrical wires as contact may cause injury or death.
Awning, Patio
If equipped, Dutchmen Manufacturing uses a variety of styles and sizes of awnings. They are primary designed as
a sun/rain protection. During any rain it will be necessary to tilt one end of the awning for proper water run off
and/or store the awning. Typically the end farthest away from the entry door is tilted so the door won’t hit and
damage the awning fabric when it is opened and closed. Awnings that experience damage from wind or rain are not
considered warrantable. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation
and/or www.dometicusa.com.
It is best to close the awning when unattended. Damage to the
Note
awning due to wind, rain or any weather condition is not covered
under warranty by Dutchmen or the awning manufacturer.
Awning, Electric Patio
If equipped, this awning can be extended and retracted electrically. This awning may or may not have tilt
functionality. Awnings without tilt functionality will need to be stored during any rain. For awnings equipped with
tilt functionality, during rain, it will be necessary to tilt one end of the awning for proper water run off and/or store
the awning. Please refer to the awning manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation
and/or www.dometicusa.com.
Note
36
An awning damaged from wind or rain is not covered under warranty even if
it was tilted. The safest way is to put it away if you are unsure.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
Awning, Slide-Out (Optional)
If equipped, a slide-out awning will automatically open and close along with the slide-room. Fully extended the
awning is level, which may cause water to puddle on top of the canopy. As the slide-room is closed, the awning
will roll up and cause any puddles to spill over the sides of the awning. Before retracting the slide-room, check to
make sure the slide out awning is free of any debris (leaves, twigs, etc.), which can damage the awning or slide-room
components. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.dometicusa.com
DO NOT attempt any repairs to any awning. The awning roller tube is under extreme spring tension.
Repairs should only be performed by an authorized dealer / repair center.
Backup Monitor
If equipped, the back up monitor will allow you to see directly behind your trailer. Please refer to the manufacturers
instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
Cable Hook-Up
If equipped, locate the exterior hookup on the side of the recreational vehicle. Attach the cable source to the cable
jack on the unit. The TV Antenna booster must be off for the cable signal to reach the TV location.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
For your safety, a carbon monoxide (CO) detector is installed in every unit. Depending on the model, it may be
operated by battery (9V, AA) or wired so that it will be powered by a RV battery (if equipped) or 12V power from
the converter. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.atwoodmobile.com, www.qginc.com, or www.mtiindustries.com.
Common sources of CO are malfunctioning or misuse of gas appliances, vehicle engines, generators and many other
fuel burning products.
Some indications of CO poisoning include (but not limited to) the following:
Mild Exposure
• Symptoms of the flu (minus a fever)
If the alarm sounds, exit the vehicle immediately. The CO
• Slight Headache
build-up may dissipate before help arrives, but may be only
• Dizziness
temporarily solved. It is crucial that the source of the CO is
• Fatigue
determined and repaired.
Medium Exposure
Gasoline generators and LP generators and appliances
• Severe Throbbing Headache
produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can be fatal!
• Drowsiness
When the device detects carbon monoxide in the air it will
sound. Consult the individual detector’s user manual for
• Confusion
specific instructions and / or audible warning meanings.
• Fast Heart Rate
Extreme Exposure
The CO alarm can only warn you in the presence of CO.
• Unconsciousness
It does not prevent CO from occurring nor can it solve an
• Convulsions
existing CO problem.
• Cardiorespiratory Failure
• Death
For your safety and to keep your carbon monoxide alarm in good working order, follow the steps below.
• Verify the unit alarm, lights and battery operation by pushing the “Test” button weekly
• Vacuum the CO alarm cover with a soft brush attachment once a month to remove accumulated dust
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37
• Instruct children never to play with the CO alarm. Warn children of the dangers of carbon monoxide
poisoning
• Never use detergents or solvents to clean the carbon monoxide alarm
• Avoid spraying paint, hair spray, air fresheners or other aerosols near the CO detector
• Do Not paint the CO detector. Paint will seal the vents and interfere with the sensor ability to detect
CO.
• Do not place near a diaper pail.
• Test the alarm operation after your coach has been in storage, before each trip and at least once a week
during the camping season.
• Replace the CO detector when recommended by the manufacturer (typically every five years).
Generator (Optional)
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THE GENERATOR OWNER’S MANUAL
BEFORE OPERATING THE GENERATOR. Observe all operating instructions and warnings as well as
all recommended maintenance schedules and procedures. Generators are not warranted by Dutchmen
Manufacturing. Contact the manufacturer direct at: www.cumminsonan.com or 800-888-6626.
If equipped, a generator can provide you flexibility when you are unable to plug your shoreline cord into a power
source. When running, the generator supplies 120V power to the unit very similar to having your shoreline cord
plugged in to the campground. In order to operate, it requires 12V power and a fuel source to burn (gasoline or
propane depending on the application). Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care
and operation and/or www.cumminsonan.com.
The onboard generator makes your RV fully self-contained. It allows you access to 120 volts when there is no shore
power available, but keep in mind that carbon monoxide is deadly! Test the carbon monoxide detector every time
you use the RV. Before you start and use the generator inspect the exhaust system. Do not use it if the exhaust
system is damaged. NEVER sleep in the RV with the generator running unless the vehicle is equipped with a
working carbon monoxide detector and you test the carbon monoxide detector immediately before sleeping with
the generator operating. Know what the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are. See “Carbon Monoxide
Detector” section for further information.
Test the operation of the carbon monoxide detector
as follows:
• after vehicle has been in storage,
• before each trip,
• at least once per week,
• and mimmediately before sleeping with the
generator operating.
FAILURE TO DO SO CAN RESULT IN DEATH
OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Carbon Monoxide is poisonous and can cause
unconsciousness and death.
Follow all instructions in this section as well as the
ones outlined in the generator operator’s manual
If you or anyone else experience any of these symptoms get to fresh air immediately. Shut the generator down and
do not operate it until it has been inspected and repaired by a professional. If the symptoms persist seek medical
attention.
1. DO NOT operate the generator while sleeping unless the vehicle is equipped with a working carbon
monoxide detector and you test the caron monoxide detector immediately before sleeping.
2. Never store anything in generator compartment. Always keep compartment clean and dry.
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3. DO NOT operate the generator in an enclosed building or in a partly enclosed area such as a garage.
4. Review the safety precautions for fuel and exhaust fumes elsewhere in this manual.
5. DO NOT operate the generator when the recreation vehicle is parked in high grass or brush. Heat from
the exhaust could cause a fire in dry conditions.
6. Never operate your tow vehicle or generator engine, or the engine of any vehicle, longer than necessary
when the vehicle is parked.
7. DO NOT simultaneously operate generator and a ventilator which could result in the entry of exhaust
gas. When exhaust ventilators are used, we recommend that a window on the opposite side of the unit
“upwind” of exhaust gases be opened to provide cross ventilation.
8. When parked, orient the vehicle so that the wind will carry the exhaust away from the vehicle. DO
NOT open nearby windows, ventilators, or doors into the passenger compartment, particularly those
which can be “down wind”, even part of the time.
9. DO NOT operate the generator when parked in close proximity to vegetation, snow, buildings, vehicles,
or any other object could deflect the exhaust under or into the vehicle.
10.DO NOT touch the generator when running, or immediately after shutting off. Heat from the
generator can cause burns. Allow the generator to cool before attempting maintenance or service.
​
Furnace
The furnace is a propane gas appliance that requires 12 volt power to electronically light. New furnaces sometimes
emit smoke and an odor during the first 5 - 10 minutes of initial use due to paint burning off the heating chamber.
Do not mistake this for a malfunctioning furnace. Follow the suggestions in Chapter 3 regarding maintaining
Indoor Air Quality if this occurs. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and
operation. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.
atwoodmobile.com or www.rvcomfort.com.
ALL PILOT LIGHTS, APPLIANCES AND THEIR IGNITORS (SEE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS)
SHALL BE TURNED OFF BEFORE REFUELING OF FUEL TANKS AND/OR PROPANE
CONTAINERS. FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Do not store gasoline or any other flammable vapors or liquids in the vicinity of any appliance because a
fire or explosion can result.
Thermostat - Wall Mounted
If equipped, a wall mounted thermostat can be for furnace only or a combination air conditioner / furnace
thermostat. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
Thermostat - Remote Control
If equipped, a remote control thermostat can control the furnace and air conditioner. Please refer to the
manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
Dual Zone Thermostat
If equipped, the main A/C and furnace are typically programmed to regulate the temperature in Zone 1 and the 2nd
roof air conditioner to Zone 2 which can be regulated at a different temperature. Please refer to the manufacturer
instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.dometicusa.com or www.rvcomfort.com.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
39
Fireplace (Optional)
If equipped, a fireplace requires 120V to operate. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the
unit for care and operation. DO NOT leave the fireplace unattended while in operation.
Microwave / Convection Oven (Optional)
If equipped, microwaves operate on 120V power. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the
unit for care and operation.
Oven Or Cooktop (Range)
If equipped, the oven and/or cooktop can be used for general baking. It requires propane gas to operate. Some
models require a pilot to be lit while others light electronically using 12V. Please refer to the manufacturer
instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.atwoodmobile.com.
Do not use cooking appliances for comfort heating. Can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can lead
to death or serious injury.
Gas cooking appliances need fresh air for safe operation.
Before operating:
Open vents or windows slightly or turn on exhaust fan prior to using cooking appliance. Gas flames
consume oxygen which should be replaced to ensure proper combustion. Improper use can result in death or
serious injury.
Range Hood
The range hood operates on 12V power and should be used to ventilate when cooking. Operational switches for the
fan and / or light are on the front panel of the range hood. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied
with the unit for care and operation.
Range / Cook-Top (outside)
If equipped, this feature typically is located behind a compartment door and slides out or folds down. There is a
quick disconnect LP connection near the frame in the vicinity of the appliance. Please refer to the manufacturer
instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
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Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner’s Manual 4/1/2014
DO NOT leave the cook top unattended while in use. If windy conditions cause the flame to invert into
the cook top, stop using immediately. Continued use will result in heat build up in the cook top causing
damage to the cook top and increased risk of fire.
DO NOT use oversize cookware. The cookware should not be more than one inch larger than the burner
grate. The maximum size cookware is 10 inches in diameter. Oversize cookware will result in heat build up
in the cook top causing damage to the cook top and increased risk of fire.
DO NOT use cookware that covers more than one burner at a time. Oversize cookware will result in heat
build up in the cook top causing damage to the cook top and increased risk of fire.
FOLLOW all warning labels on the cook top and in the manufacturers instructions suppled with the unit.
Refrigerator
The refrigerator can operate on 120V or on LP gas (requires 12V to light). The unit must be level to operate
properly. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation. The
refrigerator will operate most efficiently when:
1. The unit is level
2. It is allowed 4 hours to cool prior to putting items in it.
3. The items are already cold or frozen before putting them in the refrigerator
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.norcold.com
www.dometicusa.com, or www.atwoodmobile.com.
ALL PILOT LIGHTS, APPLIANCES AND THEIR IGNITORS (SEE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS)
SHALL BE TURNED OFF BEFORE REFUELING OF FUEL TANKS AND/OR PROPANE
CONTAINERS. FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Do not store gasoline or any other flammable vapors or liquids in the vicinity of any appliance because a
fire or explosion can result.
Refrigerator-Residential Style
By design, these refrigerator’s will not operate properly when indoor air temperatures exceed approximately 110
degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, operating the refrigerator in these conditions could cause compressor failure which
may not be considered warrantable. Leave the air conditioner set at a temperature below this if the refrigerator is left
running in a vehicle that is not being used or shut it off.
Remote Control System
If equipped, the remote control fob will operate any or all of the following: slide out, jacks, awning, ramp door, and
lights. Use caution when operating these items with the remote and always watch the component being operated
to be sure adequate clearance is available to open or close the component. Individual remote controls may also be
provided with the stereo, TV, DVD, & etc.
Roof Vents (Power/Manual)
If equipped, a powered ceiling vent fan runs on 12V. This equipment is an excellent tool in help manage indoor air
quality (See Chapter 3). Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
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41
Satellite
If equipped, please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for Care & Operation. When
selecting your campsite, make sure you have a clear line of site (no obstruction from trees, etc) to the southwest so
you can obtain the satellite signal.
Televisions
If equipped, please refer to the manufacturers instructions included in the unit for care and operation. The typical
operation temperature range for a LCD TV is 41° F (5° C) to 104 ° F (40 ° C). Please refer to the manufacturer
instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.sony.com or
www.asaelectronics.com
Washer/Dryer Ready
If equipped, there are 3 ways this option can be plumbed to drain.
1. It could be routed into the Gray water holding tank.
2. It could be routed into the Black water holding tank.
3. It could be routed directly to a termination valve and not to any holding tank.
This is determined floor plan to floor plan so be sure to verify which scenario applies to you should you have a dealer
install a Washer/Dryer in your unit. Some Washer/Dryers will cycle as much as 30 gallons of water for one load of
laundry. Be sure to know your holding tank sizes and holding tank levels prior to operating the Washer/Dryer if
routed into a tank. If routed directly to a termination valve, be sure the sewer hose is connected (to an approved
dump station) and the termination valve is open before operating.
Note
Operating a Washer/Dryer without opening the termination valve or without ample storage
capacity in a holding tank can lead to the unit being flooded with gray water and damage to the
trailer which is not considered warrantable.
Egress Windows
Egress or “Emergency Exit” Windows are labeled from the factory with the word EXIT. All Egress windows can be
distinguished by red operational handles or levers. Dependent upon the window type, an egress window may be a
large section or an entire window. Review the locations and operational instructions posted upon the window with
all people staying in the trailer.
Fire Extinguisher
Each recreational vehicle includes a fire extinguisher, which is located near the main entry door. The fire
extinguishers are rated for Class B (gasoline, grease, and flammable liquids) and Class C (electrical) fires. Please refer
to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
Smoke Detector
For your safety a smoke detector is installed in every unit. Most detectors are powered by a 9-Volt battery. Check
the manufacturer’s expiration date on the label, replace the batteries if needed, and clean dust away from the slots so
that smoke can enter freely. All smoke alarms, hard-wired and battery powered, should be replaced every ten years.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation.
TEST SMOKE ALARM OPERATION AFTER VEHICLE HAS BEEN IN STORAGE,
BEFORE EACH TRIP, AND AT LEAST ONCE PER WEEK DURING USE.
FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY.
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Elevated Beds And Electric Bed Lift Systems
Each vehicle with elevated beds has a warning label listing the maximum load capacity.
Failure to comply with the load capacity could cause bed failure which may result in injury.
Bed(s) must be stowed in the up position during travel.
Elevated beds may present a fall hazard which may result in injury. Please follow the
guidelines below regarding elevated beds and the use of bed rails.
Standard Elevated Beds – Various Dutchmen Manufacturing products are equipped with standard built-in elevated
beds or bed loft areas. These beds can be upwards of 4 to 5 feet above the floor level and are often enclosed on one,
two, or three sides and sometimes even partially on a fourth side. Because there are so many potential users and
different types of elevated bed designs, elevated beds are not equipped with bed rails.
Electric Bed Lift Systems – Many of the Dutchmen Manufacturing Sport Utility Trailers/Ramp Trailers come
equipped with rear cargo area electric bed lift systems. (See the label in the Ramp Trailer for proper operation of the
rear cargo area electric bed lift systems). The bottom beds in some floor plans also can be converted to dual sofas.
Again, like the standard built-in elevated beds, because of the design and the various uses, the rear electric beds are
not equipped with a bed rail system.
Use of Bed Rails – We feel that you, as the customer, are best equipped to determine if a bed rail system is necessary
or best for you based on your intended uses, the actual users of the elevated beds, and the comfort level of the users.
For those customers who would prefer using an elevated bed with a bed rail, there are numerous bed rail styles, sizes,
heights, and designs available, even in the style of bumpers, which can be purchased at various retail locations and/or
on the internet.
When installing a bed rail please make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully
and that you take in to account the size and height of the mattress (either originally installed by Dutchmen
Manufacturing or later replaced by you) so that the rails are the appropriate height above the top of the mattress.
This is important because residential mattresses differ in size from the RV mattresses originally installed by
Dutchmen Manufacturing. Please also make sure that the bed rail you select allows for adequate room to get in and
out of the elevated bed after installation, especially in the event of an emergency.
Tips for Safe Usage:
• Please use sound judgment when allowing children to sleep in any style of elevated bed. Generally, it is
not suitable for children under the age of 6 to sleep in an elevated bed or bed loft area.
• Discuss proper usage of any elevated bed/electric bed lift system with your children and make sure they
are supervised if playing in the bedroom/sleeping area of the trailer with elevated beds. Please do not
allow horseplay on or under the elevated beds and no items such as hooks, belts, jump ropes, or towels
should hang from any part of the elevated bed.
• Place a night light in the bedroom/sleeping area so users can see at night when getting in and out of the
beds.
• No more than one person should be in an elevated bed at once and make sure you follow the weight
restrictions posted on the warning label near the beds.
• Do not allow children to operate the rear cargo area electric bed lift systems in Ramp Trailers. The
lowering and raising of the electric beds should be only conducted by an adult. No person should be on
the electric beds when being lowered or raised.
If you have any questions about elevated beds, Ramp Trailer electric bed lift systems, or bed rails please contact
Dutchmen Manufacturing Customer Service. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit
for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
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Battery Disconnect
If equipped, is designed to give you the ability to disconnect all loads to your 12V battery (not supplied by
Dutchmen) without disconnecting the battery cables. Typically, this is used to prevent your battery from being
discharged during storage. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and
operation and/or www.intellitic.com.
Equa-Flex, E-Z Flex
These are ride enhancement features available on certain models. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions
supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com or www.dexteraxle.com.
Pin Box
Some models come equipped with specialized Pin Box’s designed to reduce the stress and enhance the pulling
experience. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.lci1.com or www.morryde.com.
Level Up (4 or 6-point leveling)
If equipped, is a hydraulic leveling system designed for towable RV’s. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions
supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
Under Mount Spare Tire
If equipped, is a cable hoist designed to stow the spare tire under the unit, typically behind the rear axle. An access
hole in the lower skirt metal is provided to insert a crank handle to lower/raise the spare tire.
Keyless Entry
If equipped, allows you to lock/unlock the deadbolt via a wireless keypad or in some cases key fob transmitters.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with your unit for care and operation and/or
www.southco.com, www.trimarkcorp.com, or www.lci1.com.
Correct Track
If equipped, allows axle position alignment. Correct Track, when properly used, can help align the coach’s
suspension and provide a smoother ride and can help prevent premature tire wear. Please refer to the manufacturer
instructions supplied with your unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
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Chapter 8: Electrical System
The electrical system in your unit is a combination 12 Volt DC (Direct Current) and 120 Volt AC (Alternating
Current) system. In simpler terms, the 12 Volt system is what an automobile uses and the 120 Volt system is what
most households use. Every facet of the electrical system is built to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Standard
(RVIA) which complies with the “American National Standard #A119.2” and the “National Electric Code.”
12 Volt System - DC
The 12 Volt system can be powered in three different ways: a RV battery (not included by Dutchmen), the
converter changing 120V AC to 12V DC or by the tow vehicle’s 12 Volt system. Almost all equipment except the
microwave and roof air conditioner operate using 12V.
RV Battery
The heart of the 12 Volt system is the RV battery so choose yours wisely. Your battery is essentially a storage device
for electrical energy. We recommend a RV / Marine Deep Cycle battery for our applications. Before you select your
battery, define your camping needs thoroughly. For example, if you will typically camp with access to 120V to plug
in the shoreline cord, a standard deep cycle battery should suffice. If you will be camping without access to 120V
and will rely heavily on battery to run the many features in your unit, you need to consider a deep cycle battery that
has considerable amperage available or possibly installing 2 batteries for your needs.
A well charged and maintained battery is critical for proper operation of the appliances and features within your
unit. A battery which is not well charged and maintained can cause intermittent or failure of operation with most
of the 12V components in your unit. Follow the charging and maintenance instructions closely for the battery you
select.
Your Dutchmen RV will charge your RV battery when plugged into the tow vehicle and when the shoreline cord is
plugged into a 120V power source.
120 Volt System - AC
The 120 Volt system is supplied by plugging the Shore line cord (power cord) into an outside power source
(campground, house, etc.) or running the generator if equipped. Once connected or powered, the unit is furnished
with power to operate the roof air conditioner(s), microwave, and 120V receptacles throughout the unit. If
equipped, some refrigerators and water heaters can run from 120V power in addition to 12V and LP.
Shore Line Cord / Power Cord
The shore line cord is a heavy-duty cable with a 3 or 4 prong grounding plug on one end and connects directly
to the power converter inside the unit on the other end. This cord is used to plug into an external 120V source.
Depending on the application, we use a 30 amp (3 prong) or a 50 amp (4 prong) shore line cord.
30 Amp Service
30 amp service is the most common in the RV industry and used widely in campgrounds. 30 amp service is 120 Volt
service limited to a total of 30 amps of power at one time if your shore line cord is plugged into a 30 amp service.
With this service, you will be able to run any single appliance in the unit, however, you may not be able to run a
certain group or equipment/appliances at the same time. See video at www.keystonerv.com for more information.
For instance, most air conditioners will draw up to 15 amps and a Microwave about 10 amps. While running
the air conditioner if you turn the microwave, it may blow a breaker either in the trailer or at the pole. This is
because the air conditioner and the microwave draw 25 amps combined and the converter (which runs continuous)
is drawing an additional 5 - 13 amps depending on the 12V load (battery charging, lights, etc.). Also consider
common loads such as the refrigerator, water heater, coffee maker, and other appliances.
Following is a reference chart to show typical amperage draw on common appliances. It is recommended to operate
the water heater on gas only when using other high amp draw appliances to prevent tripping of breakers.
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50 Amp Service
If equipped, a 50 amp shore line cord utilizes four wires. With the 50 amp service, two of the four wires carry 120
Volts at 50 amps each when plugged into a true 50 amp power source. 50 amp service gives the versatility to operate
more components simultaneously because more power is available. Keep in mind, it is not unlimited and it still
may be necessary to choose between your equipment based on the power available. Please use the chart supplied as a
reference.
• DO NOT plug your RV 50 amp shore cord into any receptacle that is not wired to National Electric Code for
50 amp 120/240V configuration. Doing so will supply the unit with the incorrect electrical power causing
extensive damage to the electrical system and 120 Volt components which would not be warrantable.
• DO NOT disconnect the 50 amp male plug connection by pulling up on the cord. This will cause a loss of
neutral and 240 Volts AC will be supplied to the electrical system and 120 Volt components causing extensive
damage which would not be warrantable. Always pull straight out on the head of the cord so all 4 prongs
disengage the receptacle simultaneously.
• DO NOT plug in or unplug the shore cord while under load. Make sure all 120 Volt components are turned
off prior to connecting or disconnecting the shore cord or damage to the 120 Volt systems may result. Turn off
the breakers at the pedestal first before connecting or disconnecting the shore cord to prevent damage.
AMPERAGE
APPLIANCE
CONSUMED
Roof Air Conditioner
13 - 15
(Continuous)
Convection Microwave
16
Electric Water Heater
10
Microwave
10
Converter 55 Amp Output
5 - 13
Space Heater
10-15
Washer/Dryer
10
Refrigerator
3-4
TV or VCR
1
Hair Dryer
9
110 Volt Light
1
Curling Iron
3-4
Toaster (2 slice)
7 - 13
Coffee Maker
7
Available Power
The power system in your RV is only as good as the power supply feeding it. If the campground has only 30 amp
service available, an RV with 50 amp service will only be able to use 30 amps of service. Some campgrounds have
only 15 amp service available which is not adequate to properly run an air conditioner or certain other appliances.
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The best way to know what amperage is available is to call ahead to the campground. There are special adaptors
available through your local Dutchmen dealer to make these connections to campgrounds with lower service ratings.
Adapters/Reducers
These devices connect to the shore line cord to allow it to plug into a lesser power supply. When using adapters,
your available electrical power for the entire unit is reduced to the rating of the adapter. 50 amp to 30 amp, 30 amp
to 20 amp and 30 amp to 15 amp are the most common. Use the reference chart supplied to manage what you can
effectively use in your unit at one time should you choose to utilize this type of after market equipment.
Extension Cords
If it is necessary to use an extension cord to extend your recreational vehicle shore cord to the available campground
electrical outlet, the correct size of the extension cord must be utilized i.e. 30 amp service- 30 amp 10 gauge
extension cord not to exceed 50 feet. Adapters/Reducers at not to be used when using an extension cord and do not
plug multiple extension cords together. Your local Dutchmen dealer can assist you in obtaining the proper extension
cord for your needs.
The use of incorrect size or length extension cords, adapters, reducers
will increase the risk of fire, personal injury or property damage.
Power Center/Converter
Once connected to a power source (Shore line/Generator), the Power Center/Converter serves 3 primary purposes:
1) Power distribution-all the incoming power is distributed to the unit through the 120V circuit breakers and 12V
fuses within the Power Center. 2) Converting 120V to 12V power - In essence, utilization of the converter will
reduce the usage of the RV battery. 3) Battery charger-It will charge the RV battery.
When plugged in to a power source for long periods of time, it will be necessary to maintain your RV Battery more
frequently. Because the battery is being charged constantly, checking battery water levels (if applicable) is critical to
properly maintain your RV battery.
120V Circuit Breakers
The 120V circuits are protected by circuit breakers and can handle from 15 to 30 Amps depending upon the circuit.
The most common cause of a circuit breaker to open is an overloaded circuit. An example of an overloaded circuit is
when a space heater is plugged into the same outlet as the toaster. The circuit is protected by a 15 amp breaker and
the combined amp draw of the space heater and toaster is at least 17 amps. If this happens, reduce the load on the
circuit and reset the breaker.
Never replace circuit breakers or fuses of higher current rating than those
originally installed. This could overheat the wiring and start a fire.
12V Fuses
The fuses that protect the 12V system are located in the distribution panel next to the 120V breakers. Typically, the
fuse panel is labeled to indicate fuse size and which components are on each circuit.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Bathroom, kitchen and exterior receptacles are protected by a highly sensitive device, known as a “Ground Fault
Circuit Interrupter”, which is designed to sense the slightest electrical “short” at those receptacles and instantly
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disconnect the current before a person can be injured. This works like a circuit breaker and has a reset button on the
face of the receptacle. Typically, they are located in the bathroom or kitchen.
GFCI-Testing
The GFCI receptacle should be tested at least once a month or prior to every trip. To test the GFCI, push the TEST
button. The RESET button will pop out. Power is now off at all outlets protected by the GFCI receptacle. Push in
the RESET button in to restore power. The test is complete when the reset button remains pushed in. If the RESET
button does not pop out when testing, the GFCI is malfunctioning and no outlets should be used on this circuit, as
protection is lost. Call your dealer if the GFCI malfunctions.
7-Way Trailer Plug
A 7-pin plug supplies the electrical connection between the tow vehicle and the RV. This plug connects into a
receptacle on the tow vehicle to allow operation of the RV’s marker lights, taillights, brake lights and electric brakes.
When connected, the tow vehicle alternator will also charge the RV battery in the unit. Typically, the wires within
the 7-Way trailer plug are color-coded as identified in the graphics on this page.
BlackGreen
BatteryClearance
No.
Color
Item
1
White
Common Ground
2
Blue
Electric Brake
3
Green
Tail Lights and
Clearance
4
Black
Battery Charge
5
Red
Left Stop and Turn
6
Brown
Right Stop and Turn
7
Yellow
Reverse (if equipped)
Brown Red
Right Left
BlueWhite
Electric Brakes Reverse
Ground
Brakes, Electric
Dutchmen units are equipped with electric brakes. These brakes are designed to work in conjunction with a
properly installed brake controller which would be installed in the tow vehicle. Please refer to the axle
manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care & operation and/or www.dexteraxle.com,
www.al-kousa.com or www.lci1.com.
Breakaway Switch
See Chapter 5.
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Chapter 9: Propane Gas System
Read all manufacturer appliance literature, including the information on the propane bottles and regulator,
provided within the unit packet and follow any instructions given.
General Information
Propane gas is a clean burning dependable fuel for operating all propane gas appliances when utilized properly.
Propane gas is highly flammable and is contained under high pressure. Improper use may cause fires and/or
explosions. Propane gas is colorless and odorless in its natural state. An odorant, similar to rotten egg smell, has
been added for consumer safety purposes to help detect leaks and provide warning. If a sulfur or “rotten egg smell”
is detected in or around the trailer, perform the following steps immediately:
IF YOU SMELL PROPANE
1. Extinguish any open flames and all smoking materials.
2. Shut off the propane supply at the container valve(s) or propane supply
connection.
3. Do not touch electrical switches.
4. Open doors and other ventilating openings.
5. Leave the area until the odor clears.
6. Have the propane system checked and leakage source corrected before
using again.
IGNITION OF FLAMMABLE VAPORS COULD LEAD TO A FIRE OR
EXPLOSION AND RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Propane Gas System
The propane gas system is a closed system made up of bottles (also referred to as cylinders), regulators, valves, supply
lines and appliances. Propane tanks contain liquid under high pressure which is vaporized into a gas. The gas is
regulated into a low-pressure and distributed through the supply lines to provide the fuel for propane appliances to
burn.
Consumption of propane gas depends upon the frequency and duration of use of the propane appliances. The
furnace and oven have the highest consumption rates. During cold weather it is advisable to check the bottles often
and always keep one full. Safety must be observed at all times when using the propane gas system.
ALL PILOT LIGHTS, APPLIANCES AND THEIR IGNITORS (SEE OPERATING
INSTRUCTIONS) SHALL BE TURNED OFF BEFORE REFUELING OF PROPANE
CONTAINERS. FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
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49
Do not fill propane container(s) to more than 80 percent of capacity.
A properly filled container contains approximately 80 percent of its volume as liquid propane.
Overfilling the propane container(s) can result in uncontrolled propane flow, which could lead to
a fire or explosion and result in death or serious injury.
Do not place propane cylinders inside the vehicle.
Propane cylinders are equipped with safety devices that relieve excessive pressure by discharging
propane to the atmosphere.
Propane gas is highly flammable.
May lead to a fire or explosion and result in death or serious injury.
Regulator
The regulator is the heart of the propane system. Propane is under high pressure in the bottle and the regulator
reduces this pressure to allow safe use with the appliances in recreational vehicles. The lower pressure is distributed
to the appliances. The lever on the automatic gas regulator will point to the gas bottle in service. When the red flag
appears in the inspection glass, this indicates that bottle is empty. The lever should be then turned toward the other
bottle and the empty filled as soon as possible.
The regulator has a vent that allows it to breathe. Propane regulators must always be installed with the regulator
vent facing downward. Regulators that are not in compartments have been equipped with a protective cover; make
sure that the regulator vent faces downward and the cover is kept in place to minimize vent blockage that could
result in excessive propane pressure, causing fire or explosion. Check the vent frequently to keep the vent clean and
clear of any debris, corrosion or obstruction. A clogged regulator can result in higher pressures, loss of fuel and/or
component failure. The vent can be cleaned by using a toothbrush and should be checked periodically for correct
pressure output by a qualified propane service center.
DO NOT attempt to adjust or repair regulator. Adjustments and repairs require specialized
training and tools. Contact a qualified Propane Service Technician. Failure to follow these
instructions could result in a fire, explosion and / or injuries, including loss of life.
Split-Bottle Systems – (Primarily on Fifth-Wheels)
Some Dutchmen fifth wheels use a split-bottle system where there is one propane bottle located on each side of the
unit. There are some instances where this system may inadvertently activate the “excess flow device” located in the
propane pigtail.
The “excess flow device” is a safety feature that is designed to detect a large leak in the propane system such as a
broken gas line and reduce the flow of propane from the bottle. It also activates when the propane bottle service
valve is turned on and the propane system is not completely closed such as when the range burner is left on. The
device is not designed to completely stop the flow of propane, but to reduce it to approximately 20,000 BTUs/hr.
When activated, one appliance at a time may operate normally, however, when a large demand is placed on the
system such as turning on several appliances or the furnace, they will not receive sufficient propane pressure to
operate properly. Follow the procedure below to avoid inadvertently activating the “excess flow device” and to
operate the split bottle propane system.
Follow this procedure for the following conditions: After refilling either or both bottles; After any part of the
propane system has been disconnected; Appliance burners are not operating correctly; Low operating pressure exists
downstream from the regulator when operating heavy demand appliances such as the furnace.
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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Verify both propane bottles contain sufficient propane. Refill if necessary.
Close both propane bottle service valves.
Attach the propane pigtails to the service valve.
Close manually operated gas valves on the range or water heater.
Turn the indicator on the regulator to the bottle closest to it.
Slowly open the service valve on the bottle closest to the regulator. This is typically the bottle on the
entry door side. Open the valve all the way.
7. Slowly open the service valve on the bottle that is furthest from the regulator until you can hear gas start
to flow through. Do not open the valve all the way. Wait 1 minute.
8. Re-close the service valve and then slowly re-open it all the way. The system is now ready to operate.
Propane Gas Pigtails
Dutchmen propane systems are equipped with a Type I cylinder connection, the same as you see on current gas
grills. The Type I connection system uses the Excess Flow Pigtail Hose, distinguished by the large green nylon swivel
nut. The green swivel nut attaches to the outside of the cylinder valve with right hand threads. Tighten the swivel
nut by hand. DO NOT use tools.
The safety features of this system prevent gas from flowing unless the connection is tight and will limit excessive gas
flow. In cases of extreme heat, 240° to 300°F, at the connection, the connection to the cylinder will be shut down.
Propane Gas Lines
The primary manifold is a black pipe located beneath the unit. Copper tubing, with flare fittings, are used as
secondary lines running to the gas appliances. If repairs are needed to these lines or any component of the propane
system, DO NOT ATTEMPT to repair yourself and follow the steps listed under the warning “IF YOU SMELL
PROPANE” in this chapter.
Although your propane gas system was thoroughly inspected for leaks before delivery the propane gas system should
be inspected and checked for leaks by a RV dealer at least once a year or any time the system is opened.
THE PROPANE PIPING SYSTEM IS DESIGNED FOR USE WITH
PROPANE ONLY. DO NOT CONNECT NATURAL GAS TO THIS SYSTEM.
Propane Gas Leak Detector
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care & operation and/or www.atwoodmobile.
com. Dutchmen Manufacturing installs an propane gas leak detector unit. It is a safety device that is permanently
mounted near the floor and is powered by 12V (the RV battery and / or converter). The detector is operational only
as long as 12V power is available. If the power is disconnected, the monitor will not operate.
Should a propane leak occur, the detector will sound an alarm and continue until the gas has dissipated or until a
mute button is pressed. The mute button will only stop the alarm from sounding for 60 seconds and alarm will
reoccur if gas is still present. The alarm may sound at times when no propane is present when household products
are in use such as aerosol hair spray, cleaners, adhesives, alcohol etc. Be sure to air out the trailer thoroughly after
delivery and when using these products.
The propane gas leak detector has a self check circuit which runs at all times while receiving 12 Volt power. In the
event that the circuitry fails, a failure alarm will sound and the operating indicator will cease to light. Replace the
detector when recommended by the manufacturer (typically every five years).
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Propane gas may be present in other areas before it can reach the detector’s location. The detector
only indicates the presence of propane gas at the sensor. Never check for leaks with open flame.
Use only a mild soap and water solution. Do not use products that contain ammonia or chlorine.
Propane powered appliances produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can be
fatal! When the CO alarm detects carbon monoxide in the air it will sound. Consult the
individual detector’s user manual for specific instructions and/or audible warning meanings.
If the Alarm Sounds...
1. Extinguish any open flames, pilot lights and all smoking materials.
2. Do not touch electrical switches.
3. Shut off the propane supply at the container valve(s) or propane supply
connection.
4. Open doors and other ventilating openings.
5. Leave the area until the odor clears.
6. Have the propane system checked and leakage source corrected before
using again.
FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN EXPLOSION RESULTING IN
DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
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Chapter 10: Plumbing System
Your RV plumbing consists of two primary systems: The fresh (potable) water system and the waste water system.
Fresh (Potable) Water System
Potable fresh water is supplied to the unit in two ways: 1)By filling the fresh water tank and pumping the water
through the system with the water pump. 2)Connecting a potable water hose to the “City Water Fill” which
automatically pressurizes the system.
USE POTABLE WATER ONLY IN THE FRESH WATER SYSTEM. SANITIZE, FLUSH AND DRAIN
BEFORE USING. SEE INSTRUCTIONS UNDER HEADING “SANITIZING THE FRESH WATER
SYSTEM. FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Water Pump
The 12V water pump installed is self-priming and operates upon demand. In simpler terms, when you open a
faucet, the pump will turn on and pump the water from the tank to that faucet. For the pump to operate, please
note the following:
1. The fresh water tank must have sufficient water in it.
2. The pump on/off switch must be in the on position. Typically located on the monitor panel.
3. There must be sufficient 12V power (battery or converter) to operate the pump.
4. The water heater has a by-pass valve that can prevent water from entering the water heater.
5. The water pump should prime itself and stop running after the open faucet(s) is closed.
6. Pump should now run on demand when a faucet is opened, and stop when the faucet is closed.
Note
Never let the water pump run while the fresh water tank is empty.
Damage to the pump and/or a blown circuit may occur.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.shurflo.com.
Fresh Water Tank
All Dutchmen units are equipped with a fresh water tank. Tanks vary significantly in size by unit brand & model.
Dutchmen Manufacturing units use 2 different methods to fill the fresh water tank depending on the brand &
model.
Gravity Water Fill - Remove the cap, on the exterior connection labeled ”Fresh Water Connection”, and insert the
hose from your water source and turn on the water. While filling the tank, periodically check the monitor panel to
determine the level of water in the tank. When full turn the water source off. If overfilled, water will “spit” back out
of the gravity fill as there is no automatic shutoff. DO NOT leave the unit unattended while filling the fresh water
tank. Overfilling the tank can cause damage to the system components which may not be considered warrantable.
Pressure Water Fill - Hook a potable water supply to the city water fill valve, turn the valves to the tank fill position
and turn on the water supply. While filling the tank, periodically check the monitor panel to determine the level
of water in the tank. When full turn the water source off immediately. DO NOT overfill and DO NOT leave the
unit unattended while filling the fresh water tank. Overfilling the tank can cause damage to the system components
which may not be considered warrantable.
All units are equipped with “Low-Point” drains that are designed to drain water from the water tank and all lines.
These are located underneath the unit, typically near the water tank. These drains must be closed or the water
system will drain itself of any water entering.
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Water should be drained from the fresh water system when not in use. Over time, water quality can degrade which
can contaminate the plastic used in the water system and/or cause ill health affects.
Fresh Water is considered “Cargo”, therefore, your Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) is reduced by the weight of the
water you choose to carry.
City Water Fill
The city water fill allows a pressurized potable water line connection (water spigot) direct to the unit. Because the
connection is pressurized, there is no need to use the water pump. This method also bypasses the water tank and
feeds the entire water system directly. Connect the city water fill by using a hose manufactured for potable water use
and turn on the source. When in need of water, open the desired faucet or spigot. Air will purge itself when the
faucet is opened.
Each time this connection is made, we recommend inspection of visible water connections for leaks. DO NOT
leave the unit unattended when hooked to City Water fill for extended periods of time. Always use a water pressure
regulator to control the water pressure entering the trailer.
City water fills may be in a combination housing with the gravity water fill or stand alone.
Although the fresh water system was thoroughly inspected for leaks before delivery, fittings can loosen over time
and with normal use. Periodically check the fittings at the faucets and all other visible connections and tighten as
necessary.
Water Supply and Odor
Local water supplies (well or city) sometimes contain high levels of sulphur or other chemicals which can causes
unpleasant odors. Some, like sulphur, can be very unpleasant. Sanitizing the water system, as described and
allowing the sanitizing solution to remain for a few days, should eliminate the odor.
Sanitizing the Fresh Water System
Keeping the fresh water system clean and free of any potential contaminations should be a top priority. Sanitizing
the system before initial use and thereafter annually, or whenever water remains unused for prolonged durations,
is recommended. This will help keep the water system fresh and discourage harmful bacterial or viral growth. To
sanitize your system, perform the below:
Gravity Fill Models:
1. Drain the tank by opening the low point drains. Close the drains after water has drained.
2. Prepare a chlorine bleach solution of ¼ cup to one gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity.
Example: Use 2 ¾ gallons of the solution for a 40-gallon tank. If using Ultra bleach concentrations,
reduce bleach to 1/8 cup to one gallon of water.
3. Add solution to tank through the gravity fill port and fill with water. Open each faucet/fixture until a
distinct chlorine odor is smelled. Close faucets and let stand 4 hours.
4. Drain system and flush with fresh water until chlorine odor and smell is gone. (If a water filter has been
added, change it at this time).
Power Fill Models:
1. Drain the tank by opening the low point drains. Close the drains after water has drained.
2. Prepare a chlorine bleach solution of ¼ cup to one gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity.
Example: Use 2 ¾ gallons of the solution for a 40-gallon tank. If using Ultra bleach concentrations,
reduce bleach to 1/8 cup to one gallon of water.
3. Add solution to tank through the tank vent located on the side of the coach. This vent is an arched
shape part with the words “tank vent” on the vent cover. The vent cover is removable and held in place
by detents on either side of the vent. Remove the bug screen inside the vent. Using a funnel and tube,
add the sanitizing solution. Reinstall the screen and cover when done.
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4. Open each faucet/fixture until a distinct chlorine odor is smelled. Close faucets and let stand 4 hours.
5. Drain system and flush with fresh water until chlorine odor and smell is gone. (If a water filter has been
added, change it at this time).
Water Heater
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care & operation of the water heater. The
water heaters used in Dutchmen products range in size from 6-12 gallons depending on the brand and model.
There are 2 types used: 1) Operates only on LP gas (utilizing 12V to light) 2) Operates on LP gas or 120V
electric. The on/off switches for both types are mounted inside the unit either on the wall or in the monitor
panel. DO NOT start the water heater unless it has water in it. To verify there is water in the water heater, open
the relief valve located on the outside of the water heater. If water is present at the relief valve, you can be sure
there is sufficient water in the water heater to operate. Then verify the by-pass valve located on the back side of the
water heater is set to the use position and open a “hot” water spigot on any faucet. The water will travel from the
source, into the water heater and then present itself at the spigot when the water heater is full. Please refer to the
manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.atwoodmobile.com or www.
rvcomfort.com.
ALL PILOT LIGHTS, APPLIANCES AND THEIR IGNITORS (SEE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS)
SHALL BE TURNED OFF BEFORE REFUELING OF FUEL TANKS AND/OR PROPANE
CONTAINERS. FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Water Heater By-Pass Kit
If equipped, a by-pass kit allows winterization of the fresh water system without putting RV anti-freeze into the
water heater. The by-pass valve(s) are located on the back of the water heater (which is inside the unit) and in bypass mode, allow water to travel through a “cross-over” line connecting the input and the output lines of the water
heater. BE CAREFUL, if in by-pass mode, turning on a “hot” water spigot, WILL NOT put water in the water
heater and lighting the water heater with an empty tank could damage the tank which may not be warrantable.
Water Heater Storage & Draining
When not using the unit, drain the water from the water heater tank. Over time, water quality can degrade which
can permanently contaminate the lining of the water heater tank. Also, drain the water heater during cold weather
to avoid damage from freezing.
To Drain the Water Heater:
1. Turn off power to the water heater at the switch or the main breaker.
2. Shut off the gas supply and the water pump.
3. Open all fixtures, both hot and cold throughout the unit.
4. Remove/open the exterior access door to the water heater.
5. Remove the drain plug (or anode rod if equipped) from the tank.
6. Open the pressure relief valve to allow air in and water will drain out tank.
Winterization
RV components can be damaged from the effects of freezing. Protection of the plumbing system and related
components is crucial. Damages due to weather are not covered under warranty at any time. Many recreational
vehicle owners choose to have their units winterized by their dealer, while others choose to do it themselves.
Following are descriptions of two methods used to winterize:
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55
1. Compressed Air (Dry) Method - Uses compressed air to blow out any remaining water in the system
after draining the system of all water. This method requires an air compressor and appropriate adapters.
2. RV Anti-Freeze (Wet) Method - Uses RV approved, nontoxic, potable, anti-freeze in the system and does
not require any special tools.
Many Dutchmen products include an optional by-pass kit that allows the plumbing system to bypass the hot water
heater, reducing the amount of anti-freeze that will be needed (by-pass kits are available at most RV service centers
for a reasonable expense and can be installed during winterization). Without a by-pass kit installed, an additional 6
– 10 gallons of anti-freeze will be required.
On the following page are the procedures for both methods. Your local dealer is best suited to answering any
questions as well as providing information on winterization and storage that may be particular to the climate in
your area. If using the compressed air method, a special adapter should be purchased to allow compressed air to be
delivered through the city water fill. These adapters are available at most RV supply stores.
Method 1 - Compressed Air (With By-Pass Kit Installed)
1. Purchase 1-2 gallons of RV non-toxic anti-freeze.
2. Use compressed air (max 30 psi) to blow out the black tank flush system if equipped.
3. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks.
4. Drain water heater.
5. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position. (The by-pass valve is located near the water heater
incoming lines – an access panel may have to be removed depending upon the model.)
6. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
7. Open all faucets, including shower head sprayer, toilet flushing device and water line drains. Remember
the outside shower if equipped.
8. Turn on the water pump for 30 seconds to clear out any water in the suction line.
9. Connect an air hose with an adapter to the city water fill connection.
10.Set the pressure no greater than 30 pounds and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen
coming out of the fixtures and lines.
11.Close all drains.
12.Pour about one quart of RV anti-freeze into drains, p-traps, toilet, and tanks.
Method 2 - RV Anti-Freeze (With By-Pass Kit Installed)
1. Purchase 4 -6 gallons of RV approved, non-toxic, anti-freeze.
2. Use compressed air (max 30 psi) to blow out the black tank flush system if equipped. An alternate
method is to pump antifreeze into the inlet with a hand pump available from your RV dealer.
3. Drain all tanks, fresh water and sewage tanks.
4. Drain water heater. Close the drains after water has drained.
5. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position. (The by-pass valve is located near the water heater
incoming lines – an access panel may have to be removed depending upon the model.)
6. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
7. Pour an amount of RV non-toxic anti-freeze into the fresh water tank to fill the tank above minimum
water pump operating level. (Use of a long funnel may be helpful) Add more, if necessary, during
procedure. An alternate method is to install a bypass hose on the suction side of the water pump and
pull direct from the anti-freeze container. See your RV dealer for necessary hose and fittings.
8. Turn on pump switch and open the cold water side of all faucet fixtures. Leave open until the antifreeze comes out (generally, pink in color). Repeat for hot water side. Remember the outside shower if
equipped.
9. Flush toilet until anti-freeze begins to flow into the bowl and then pour one quart of anti-freeze down
the toilet to winterize the black tank. Leave a small amount of antifreeze in the toilet to cover the seals.
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10.Pour about one quart of anti-freeze down each shower/tub, lavatory sink, and kitchen sink to fill p-traps.
See video at www.keystonerv.com for more information.
DO NOT USE Automotive Anti-Freeze. Automotive Anti-Freeze
is poisonous and not for use in potable water systems.
De-winterization / Removal of Anti-freeze
If purchasing a coach which is winterized with RV anti-freeze, or having had an existing unit winterized before
winter storage, the plumbing system must be flushed and sanitized prior to use. Do not attempt to turn on water
heater if system is winterized. Perform the following prior to attempting to operate the water heater or use the
plumbing system.
1. Drain all tanks, fresh water and sewage. Close the drains after water has drained.
2. Attach garden hose to fresh water fill and fill tank.
3. Turn on pump switch and open cold water side of all faucet/ shower fixtures. Leave open until water
runs clear. Repeat for hot water side.
4. Flush toilet until clear water runs into bowl.
5. Dump tanks again. Close the drains after water has drained.
6. Sanitize water system.
7. If a water filter is installed, drain lines, remove filter assembly, clean and reinstall with new filter.
8. When ready to use the water heater, turn by-pass valve to open position to allow water to enter hot water
heater tank and fill according to instructions
Waste Water System
The wastewater system is self-contained within the unit. There are 2 primary waste systems in a unit: Black Water
Waste and Gray Water Waste. In some floorplans, a sink(s) or shower may empty into the Black Water Tank.
Components are the toilet, holding tanks and termination valves. As in residential households, the drainage system
has drain lines, p-traps and plumbing vents that route gases/odors out through the roof assembly.
Black Water Waste
This system consists of the toilet, drains lines, black water tank, and termination valves.
Toilet
The toilet operates with fresh water supplied by the fresh water tank or city water fill. When flushed, the toilet
drains into the black water tank. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care &
operation.
Drain Lines
The drain lines carry the waste from the toilet to the tank and from the tank to the termination valves where it will
be drained from the unit.
Black Water Tank
The term “black water” refers to the by-products of using the toilet. Once the black water tank reaches the desired
capacity, the contents can be dumped from the termination valve into an approved dump station. We recommend
using a tank deodorizer to help control odors and breakdown solids, available from dealer.
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Solid Build-Up in the Black Water Tank
When camping and using a “Full Hook-up” (includes a dump station at the site), DO NOT leave termination
valves open. When “solids” are flushed, the water will run into the dump station and the “solids” will stick to the
bottom of the tank and build up. Leave the termination valves closed until the tank level warrants dumping.
Not using enough water when flushing “solids” can also cause build up. To prevent this from occurring, add plenty
of water to the bowl prior to using/flushing the toilet when solids will be involved. Only use toilet paper approved
for use in recreational vehicles.
Should you ever have a build up of solids, close the valves, fill the tanks about ¾ full with fresh water, drive a
distance to agitate the solids and drain the tanks. If the problem continues, it may be necessary to purchase a waste
water digester from your local RV dealer which can be added to the tank to help break down solids. Follow the
instructions of the digester. Depending on the severity of the situation, it may be necessary to repeat this procedure.
Do not put these items in toilet or drains
1. Facial tissues, paper towels, sanitary products (including those labeled flushable).
2. Detergents or bleach.
Note
3. Automotive antifreeze, ammonia, alcohols, or acetones.
4. Grease from cooking, table scraps or other solids that may cause clogging.
Termination Valve
Typically, there is a termination valve for each waste holding tank in the unit and they are located on the roadside.
The termination valves are closed to hold waste in the waste tank and open to drain it. See “Dumping Instructions”
to drain the waste water system. Units with multiple bathrooms and/or dual gray/black tanks may have termination
valves separated from the units primary termination valves/dumping location. The following label has been placed
near the side-vented termination that reads:
Keep drain valve closed to minimize the presence of sewer gases.
Sewer gases may be present when RV is connected to campground sewage hookup.
May lead to illness or personal injury.
Dumping Instructions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Twist off the termination outlet cap.
Connect the sewer hose by turning counterclockwise, locking the end levers over the termination end.
Place the other end of the sewer hose into an approved dump station.
Open the black tank termination valve first and drain.
After the black tank is almost empty, open the gray tank termination valve and drain. This will use gray
water to help flush any remaining solids from draining the black tank through the sewer hose (If unit has
2 gray tanks, drain one at a time).*
6. Close termination valves.
7. Disconnect sewer hose, rinse and store.
8. Replace termination cap on the outlet.
9. Add chemical deodorant / breakdown agent approved for RV use.
10.Wash hands with approved soap/hand sanitizer.
*If unit is equipped with the No-Fuss Flush System, perform flush at this time.
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Tank Flushing
Periodically for correct monitor panel function and to control odor, it is necessary to fill all waste water tanks (black
or gray) with fresh water and repeat the dump procedure to help flush any remaining residue from usage. The
intervals for this need vary based on amount of use, type of use, holding tank chemical usage, etc.
Gray Water Waste
Typically, this system consists of all sink/shower drains, gray water tank(s) and termination valves. Gray water is the
wastewater from the sinks, tub/shower drains and is stored within one (or more) gray tank(s). Gray water is drained
through a termination valve on the roadside of the unit. One some floorplans, some of the gray water waste will
empty into the black water tank.
No Fuss Flush (Optional)
If equipped, the no fuss flush kit has been installed to assist in rinsing the black water tank after dumping. Similar
to the city water fill, it is located on the exterior of the unit and a fresh water hose can be hooked to it. To operate,
drain the black tank as outlined previously, Connect a potable water hose (garden hose will work) to the inlet
labeled “Sewer Valve Must be Open When Using This Inlet” OR “Black Tank Flush.” Open the water supply to full
pressure to flush tank. When water runs clear from sewer hose, shut off water supply and disconnect garden hose
from source. Do not disconnect hose from flush inlet until water has drained from system.
DO NOT leave the unit unattended during this process and make sure the black tank
termination valve is open and your sewer hose is connected to an approved dump
station. Overfilling the black water tank will result in water overflowing into the
interior of your RV from the toilet and the resulting damage is not covered by warranty.
Odor Control
The secret to good air quality in (and around) your RV lies with finding an effective holding tank chemical and
applying the proper amount based on use and ambient temperature. It is important to note some brands work more
effectively than others! If you are experiencing unpleasant odors from your holding tank(s), try switching brands to
something proven to work before thinking something may be wrong with the plumbing. The gray tank can produce
offending odors as well as the black tank. Follow the guidelines supplied with the chemical for usage directions.
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Monitor Panel
The monitor panel is designed to give approximate liquid levels of the fresh, gray and black water tanks at a given
moment as well as a charge value (based on voltage) of the battery. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions
supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.kibenterprises.com.
Operation
Depress the button for the desired reading (tank or battery.) The levels readout for the tanks will read at Empty (E),
1/3, 2/3, or Full (F). All lights will be lit when full. The battery conditions are as follows (+ or - 5%):
• C Charge <12.7V
• G Good 12.1V-12.7V
• F Fair 11.6V-12.1
• L Low 6V-11.6V
Erroneous Readings
The monitor panel displays readings from sensors attached to the tanks. These sensors can send false readings when:
1. Water with low mineral content. Minerals in water help conduct the electrical signal to the monitor
display.
2. Contamination-Residue remaining on the inside of the tanks after dumping (caused by normal use or
putting grease, oils, etc. in the tanks). Refer to Tank Flushing.
3. Low Battery
4. Loose wiring connections (bad ground)
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Chapter 11: Slide Out Systems
Dutchmen uses two (2) basic types of slide-room systems depending on the product application, Electric and
Hydraulic. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation of the system
in your unit.
Stand clear of the slide room’s interior path and verify that there are no exterior
obstructions before extending or retracting the slide-out. Also, there are hard, sharp
metal edges under the slide-out(s) and in the slide-out mechanisms. Children should be
monitored at all times, and not allowed to play under the slide-out(s) when extended.
Keep all people, pets and objects away from the slide-out room and mechanism during
operation. The mechanism assembly may catch loose clothing or pinch or crush
appendages. Failure to follow these warnings could result in serious injury or death.
Basic Slide-Out Tips
Before operating any slide-out:
1. The unit must have a fully charged RV battery (having the shore-line cord plugged in may NOT be
enough)
2. Turn off all necessary lights and 12V components prior to extending/retracting
3. The unit must be leveled and stabilizer jacks extended.
4. Make sure the room has clearance, inside and outside, to extend/retract.
5. Make sure water and debris are removed from the top of the room before retracting
6. Avoid injury by keeping all body parts out of the way of the slide-room
7. Make sure other parties are clear of the slide-out before extending/retracting
8. DO NOT ride in the slide-out when extending/retracting
9. DO NOT step on the floor of the slide out when the room is retracted. The slide out floor is not
supported by the main floor and stepping on the floor may cause structural damage to the slide room.
• Weather and atmospheric conditions will cause rubber to deteriorate over time. Inspect seals
around slide-rooms regularly and replace at the first sign of a problem.
• Periodically, during the normal course of operation, Slide-out systems and rooms will require
adjustment. This is covered under warranty the first ninety (90) days after original retail sale.
• Slide-out rooms should be stored retracted.
Note
• Keep mechanical components clean of road debris, salt, etc using a mild soap and water.
• Rooms that will be extended for long periods of time should be actuated 1-2 times a week.
• Failure to follow these basic steps can lead to intermittent operation of the slide-out system,
improper sealing, personal injury and damage to the unit which is not warrantable.
Electrically Operated Systems
Dutchmen uses 2 different styles of electric Slide systems: 1) Rack and Pinion 2) Cable driven. For both systems,
the RV battery drives a motor to actuate the room in and out. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied
with the unit for the care & operation and/or www.lci1.com for rack and pinion systems by Lippert, and www.
norcoind.com for cable driven systems by Norco Industies.
DO NOT apply any petroleum products (grease) to the slide system. This will attract dirt and can cause damage to
the functional components of the slide system.
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Schwin-Tek
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com for
more information.
Manual Override
These systems include the ability to manually retract the room in the event of a mechanical failure. Please refer to
the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for detailed instruction on this feature. See video at
www.keystonerv.com for more information.
Hydraulically Operated Systems
System Operation
The HydraGear™ Slide-Out System uses a 12 Volt DC hydraulic pump which powers the double-acting hydraulic
cylinder to move the room(s). Electricity for the pump assembly is supplied by the RV battery. Normal operation is
performed by pressing the wall mounted slide-out switch to extend or retract the room.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care & operation of the system in your unit.
The pump is installed with Citgo AW-32 hydraulic oil and should not be changed without completely flushing the
system. In cold weather environments and additive can be used to reduce popping and “stiction” (see vendor LIP
Sheet – 0295 on www.lci1.com for details). For the best performance, using the see-through reservoir, maintain the
fluid level within ½” of the top with the room(s) retracted (closed).
The system is designed so that the slide-room with the least resistance will extend/retract.
The Hydraulic pump is wired to an auto reset breaker that is typically within 18” of the RV battery. If overloaded,
this breaker will interrupt the operation of the slide-room temporarily which can be perceived as intermittent
operation. Causes for this to occur:
1. Low Battery
2. Loose or corroded battery terminal or ground wire
3. Slide-Room binding (unit not level, sticks/leaves or other wedged between the room and the wall)
4. Slide-Room/system out of adjustment
5. Something blocking extending/retracting the slide-room
Individual Room Control (IRC)
If equipped, this control panel allows each room to be operated independently.
Manual Override to Retract or Extend the Slide-Out Room
The HydraGear™ system can be manually overridden in cases of hydraulic system failure or when electrical power is
either interrupted or unavailable. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for instruction
for this feature. See video at www.keystonerv.com for more information.
The slide-out room and mechanism are a potential crush hazard. Disconnect
the batteries to disable power to the slide-out(s) before working on or under
the slide-out(s). Failure to do so could result in serious injury or death.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
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Chapter 12: Sport Utility Recreational Vehicles
This chapter deals with trailers equipped with cargo loading ramps and fuel transfer systems. These recreational
vehicles are sometimes referred to as “ramp trailers” or “toy haulers”. These trailers combine RV living quarters with
a large cargo area and special consideration must be given to the topics in this chapter.
Bed Lifts
See Chapter 7 under the heading “Elevated Beds And Electric Bed Lift Systems” for complete information including
use and safety. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.lci1.com.
Ramp Trailer Weight Distribution
All loaded trailers must remain within GVWR and GAWR limits. However, proper load distribution is of particular
importance for ramp trailers. These trailers are designed to carry a variety of vehicles and cargo in the cargo storage
area. These cargo items are typically heavy and consideration must be given to how they are loaded. Because
most storage areas are at the rear of the vehicle the biggest concern is maintaining the correct hitch or pin weight
percentage. Vehicles loaded incorrectly can have too little weight resting on the hitch or pin and can become
unstable when towing. Keep the loaded tongue weight between 10% and 15% of the total weight for travel trailers
and between 15% and 25% of total weight for fifth wheels. For example, if the loaded vehicle weighs 8000 pounds,
the hitch weight for a travel trailer should be between 800 – 1200 pounds (10 – 15% of the 8000 pound total).
For a fifth wheel this same 8000 pound vehicle should have a pin weight of 1600 – 2000 pounds (20 – 25%). By
maintaining the correct hitch percentage and staying within the limits of the GVWR and GAWR you can help
insure a safe towing experience with your trailer.
Locate and secure cargo and vehicles to maintain safe weight distribution in
the cargo area and throughout the trailer.
Improper weight distribution or overloading could lead to loss of vehicle
control during travel resulting in serious injury or death.
Follow all guidelines contained in this manual for loading and weighing
procedures. Maintain the loaded hitch weight within the percent levels stated
above. Where applicable, a hitch with built in sway control is recommended.
Do not exceed the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) or the GAWR (gross
axle weight rating) of either the tow trailer or tow vehicle.
Cargo Placement
Load vehicles and heavy cargo items in the cargo area as far forward as possible. Big, heavy items should be loaded
where they can be securely tied down. Start with top heavy items if you have them. That’s usually a good place to
start because you must have plenty of room available to properly tie them down. Tying them straight down is not
secure enough. They need to be tied off at several angles or they could fall over in an abrupt change in speed or
direction. You need room to accomplish this. Smaller items can be used to fill the spaces around them later.
Once you have the heavy items located, check the hitch weight. If the hitch weight is significantly more or less than
the guidelines in section “Ramp Trailer Weight Distribution”, make the changes necessary to get close. Then the
smaller items can be placed to bring the hitch weight into the recommended range. They should be located so that
they will not move during travel. Placing them next to items that have already been tied down helps, but your main
concern should be to not lose the balance of the trailer. Don’t forget you can also get one side of a trailer heavier
than the other without a little planning. This can cause tire failures from overloading an individual tire or tires. This
can also cause a very serious problem when cornering, even causing the trailer to turn over in a sudden turn.
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Top heavy loads can cause problems not only in cornering but also in hard braking. They have a tendency to make
the trailer “dive” in hard braking conditions. This suddenly increases tongue weight and can decrease tow vehicle
front axle loading just when you need steering and brakes the most. Arrange the remainder of the load to act as a
counter weight to minimize this effect. Never place heavy objects on add-on devices hung on the rear bumper or
placed across the tongue frame. This places heavy objects where they will dramatically effect handling in corners or
bumps. Heavy weights placed well behind the axle can also reduce stability. A bicycle may be fine to hang out in
back, but not a motorcycle. Use good common sense and to always allow plenty of margin for safety.
Ramp Trailer Loading Safety
The cargo door/loading ramp gives you complete access to the trailer cargo area. When lowered, the loading ramp
allows you to easily load rolling cargo, bicycles, small motorcycles and ATVs, and small vehicles. This section
outlines the safety precautions you should take when loading and unloading cargo and vehicles, as well as loading/
unloading procedures, techniques and tips.
Use caution when using the loading ramp/door area of your trailer. This area has many uses and some things to be
aware of are:
• Ramps and inclines
• Dissimilar surfaces that may be wet and slippery
• Awkward, heavy or unbalanced loads
Continuous attention to safety measures will help prevent accidents and possibly serious injuries and property
damage. You can help minimize these risks, avoid hazards, and enjoy your recreational activities safely by using an
effective decision-making strategy as follows:
• Identify hazards or specific problems in your path. Equipment, materials, debris, other vehicles,
children, pets, or any number of other things may be in your way when you load or unload cargo or
vehicles.
• Predict what may happen and think of the consequences of your actions. Be sure you are physically
capable of handling the load safely and keeping it under control.
• Decide what to do based on your capabilities and the capabilities of your equipment.
• Be sure your cargo does not exceed the capacity of your loading ramp and the trailer.
Loading Equipment
The loading equipment furnished with your trailer is the ramp door and the tie down attachment points in the cargo
area floor. The rated capacity of the ramp door is 3000 pounds. Each tie down D-ring attachment is rated at 1,500
pounds. Typically no tie down straps, cables, hooks, chains, wheel chocks, blocks, etc. are supplied with your trailer.
Chocks And Blocks
Wheel chocks are wedge-shaped blocks placed in front of and behind the rear tires of a trailer to prevent the trailer
from moving while it is being loaded. Always hitch the trailer to the tow vehicle, and use wheel chocks or other
vehicle-restraining devices when loading and unloading the trailer. When chocking, use wheel chocks of the
appropriate size and material to securely hold the vehicle. Don’t use lumber, cinder blocks, rocks, or other make-shift
items to chock.
Tie downs
Use tie downs rated for the weight of the object to be secured. Be sure to attach and secure each tie down so that it
cannot come loose, unfastened, opened or released while the trailer is in motion. Also, use edge protection whenever
a tie down could be damaged or cut at the point where it touches an article of cargo. Note: Do not over tighten tie
downs as this will cause damage to the attachment hardware, floor structure and cargo.
The working load limit of a tie down, associated connector, or attachment mechanism is the lowest working load
limit of any of its components (including any tensioner device), or the working load limit of the anchor points to
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which it is attached, whichever is less. When you choose tie down hardware, choose items that are strong enough
to hold the load you are securing. The load limit of each tie down used should be at least one-half the working load
limit of each tie down that goes from an anchor point on the trailer to an attachment point on an article of cargo.
Check the tie down manufacturer’s specifications to determine working load limits. NOTE: Tie down hardware is
typically not supplied with your trailer.
When an article of cargo is not blocked or positioned to prevent movement in the forward direction, the number
of tie downs needed depends on the length and weight of the articles. In all cases, use enough tie downs to secure
the cargo from moving in any direction. Heavy tool chests or cabinets may require tie downs around bottom,
middle and top to secure them. Be sure to lock or secure drawers in these chests or cabinets so they can’t open while
traveling. Keep handle bars, mirrors, etc. away from the trailer interior walls. The walls can be damaged by contact
with hard, sharp objects.
Loading Ramp Operation
1. Hitch the trailer to a tow vehicle before loading and unloading the rear cargo area. Select a parking site
where the edge of the rear door/loading ramp will rest entirely on a flat, level surface, and the corners of
the door will be supported. Avoid soft sand or mud surfaces. When the trailer is loaded, the added cargo
weight may cause the trailer and/or tow vehicle to become stuck.
Always hook the trailer to the tow vehicle before moving cargo or using the loading
ramp. Failure to do so could cause the trailer to tip back as the load is shifted to the
rear of the cargo area causing property damage, personal injury, and/or death.
2. Set the parking brake on the tow vehicle and install wheel chocks in front and behind the tires on one
axle on each side of the trailer. DO NOT use the emergency brake away switch on the trailer.
3. Lower the front and rear jacks on the trailer to stabilize it.
4. Unlock the rear door loading ramp and carefully lower it to the ground. If equipped, extend the ramp
extension and install the supporting hardware.
5. If equipped with a power bunk, raise both bunks fully.
6. Move things out of the way of your cargo, whether you are loading, or unloading. Have an idea where
your cargo will be positioned after your load/unload activities.
7. Use caution and proper lifting techniques when loading and unloading items from the cargo area.
8. Use extreme caution when loading/unloading ATVs, motorcycles, or other vehicles (“motorized cargo”
or “vehicle(s)”). These machines are generally heavy, and may be hot from operation and/or covered with
dirt, oil, or other substances that may make them slippery. See the section “Loading and Unloading
Motorized Cargo” for more details.
9. Make certain that the door seals and hinge area are free of any debris, such as sand or snow before
closing the rear door loading ramp.
10.Inspect the hinges, assist springs, and latch mechanism before each trip for signs of wear or damage, and
make any needed repairs for safe operation and towing.
Loading And Unloading Motorized Cargo
Many recreation ATV or motorcycle accidents and injuries happen while loading or unloading. Steep inclines,
unstable ramps, power and a short stopping area can make loading motorized cargo difficult. There is no absolute
safe way to drive your motorized cargo into the trailer. Take the following steps to aid in reducing the risks associated
with transporting, storing, or occupying the trailer with motorized equipment and vehicles.
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• Wear personal protective equipment while loading and unloading vehicles to/from the trailer. This
includes but is not limited to, an approved motor vehicle helmet, leather boots, appropriate gloves, and
eye protection.
• Never stand in the path of equipment when loading/unloading with the ramp, and keep bystanders away
from the ramps.
• Keep body parts completely clear of the ramp door hinge pinch area at all times.
• Check parking brakes on the vehicle(s) you are loading/unloading, and on the tow vehicle.
• Inspect ramp and trailer floor/loading area for cracks, damage, oil or other debris that may cause
slippage.
• Remove carpet from section where fueled vehicles or motorized equipment will be stored.
Any motorized vehicle or any motorized equipment powered with flammable liquid can cause fire,
explosion or asphyxiation if stored or transported within the recreational vehicle. To reduce the risk of
fire, explosion or asphyxiation:
1. Do not ride in the vehicle storage area while vehicles are present.
2. Do not use the vehicle storage area as a temporary or permanent living
space while vehicles are present.
3. Close doors and windows in walls of separation (if installed) while any vehicle is present.
4. Run fuel out of the engines of stored vehicles after shutting off fuel at the fuel tank.
5. Do not store, transport, or dispense fuel inside the vehicle.
6. Open the windows, openings, or air ventilation systems provided for venting the transportation area
when vehicles are present.
7. Do not operate propane appliances, pilot lights, or electrical equipment when motorized vehicles are
present.
FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN AN INCREASED RISK OF FIRE, EXPLOSION,
ASPHYXIATION, DEATH, OR SERIOUS INJURY.
CARBON MONOXIDE GAS CAN KILL YOU. Fuel burning devices such as ATVs or motorcycles
that burn gasoline, diesel, or other fuels produce carbon monoxide when they are operating. Carbon
monoxide gas is invisible, odorless, and colorless. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas can
accumulate in a trailer which cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste. Even small quantities of
carbon monoxide can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation, which will cause death,
serious injury, or permanent disability. Exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide for
even a few minutes will also cause death, serious injury, or permanent disability. DO NOT start
ATVs, motorcycles, or other fuel burning devices while they are located in your trailer.
There is a hazard of serious personal injury when using a loading ramp. If the
motorized cargo loses traction and spins sideways, it may slip sideways off the ramp,
tipping sideways, and possibly falling on the rider causing injury. Always follow the
ramp loading instructions in the owner’s manual for the motorized cargo.
Ramp Positioning
The ramp angle from the trailer floor to the ground affects the risk when loading/unloading cargo. If the ramp angle
is reduced, and all other conditions remain the same, risk is reduced. Always try to reduce the loading ramp angle;
the shallower the ramp angle, the easier cargo loading will be. Position the trailer to take advantage of any terrain
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features that will help reduce the ramp angle. In all cases, be sure the ends of the ramp door can be fully supported.
Always position the loading ramp so the ends in contact with the ground are level or at the same height. An uneven
ramp may cause the cargo to tip over sideways during loading/unloading.
Loading Under Power
Always follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for the motorized cargo. If not available, following are
generalized suggestions for loading motorized cargo. At no time should these instructions over-ride the
instructions contained in the motorized cargo owner’s manual.
1. Shift into lowest gear before ascending ramps.
2. Align wheels with ramps both loading and unloading.
3. Approach straight on, not on an angle. If you are off to one side and the ground is uneven where the
ramp touches the ground, an unbalanced situation can occur.
4. The operator should apply throttle smoothly and climb the ramp at low speed. Too much or sudden
increases in throttle will cause the vehicle to be harder to control and may cause the vehicle to impact the
front of the trailer cargo area or over-turn.
5. Stop when fully in the trailer. Keep handle bars, mirrors, etc. away from the trailer interior walls. The
walls can be damaged by contact with hard, sharp objects.
6. After loading, close the fuel valve and run the engine until it stops (motorcycles and ATVs). Turn the
ignition key off and remove it. Set the parking brake. For manual clutch machines, leave the machine in
gear.
7. Secure the vehicle with tie downs. The attachment points you select on your equipment must be strong
enough to support the weight of the equipment. Usually attachment points that are low and centered
on the equipment frame will be good, An attachment to a decorative piece of chrome or plastic will
usually not be a good tie-down point. Consider any leverage action that may occur. An attachment point
past the center of the equipment could cause the equipment to either swing around or flip over, causing
damage to the equipment, or personal injury. If you have any doubt about the attachment point you
have selected, stop and find a better attachment point.
Secure The Load
Install blocking devices in the front, back, and on both sides of the wheels to keep it from rolling. This block is
strictly an additional safety precaution and does not reduce the need for strapping the vehicle in securely.
Use a minimum of three tie downs to secure the vehicle to the trailer. Use one tie down to secure the front of the
vehicle to the trailer. Use two tie downs to secure the rear of the vehicle to the trailer, four tie downs (one at each
corner) are preferred.
Attach tie down hooks to the vehicle’s frame, not to an accessory such as a mirror, handle bar, pedal, etc. Hooks on
the other end must be attached to vehicle cargo anchors installed in the trailer.
For transport, motorized cargo with manual transmissions should be left in first gear. Vehicles with automatic
transmissions should be in the Park position. The vehicle’s ignition key should be turned off and removed, the
parking brake set, the run/stop switch in the stop (or off) position and the fuel lever turned to the off position.
Failure to properly secure cargo could cause, property damage, injury, and/or death.
Unloading Motorized Cargo
The safest method of unloading is to push the vehicle down the ramp, carefully braking to ensure control of the
vehicle. If you loaded your vehicle forward (front in) that means you will unload it in reverse. Driving a motorized
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vehicle in reverse down the ramp is not recommended. A slight turn of the handle or a slip of the wheel can cause
your vehicle to fall, tip or roll sideways. If you are on or in the vehicle you can be injured or killed. Unload the
vehicle safely as follows:
1. Be sure the back tires of the vehicle are aligned with the ramp, and there are no people, pets or
obstructions in the unloading area at the end of the ramp. Assure that the ground surface will support
the vehicle, and that the vehicle cannot roll away uncontrolled.
2. Stand at the front of the vehicle.
3. Push the vehicle backward in line with the ramp.
4. As the rear tires start down the ramp let it roll slowly backwards braking enough to control the speed but
not so much as to skid and loose control.
Fuel Transfer System
A fuel transfer system allows you to store gasoline for use in motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs or other vehicles and
equipment while at a campsite. This system consists of a fuel tank, fuel tank filler, fuel gauge, fuel transfer pump,
fuel transfer valve and hose with fill nozzle. Some vehicles will be equipped with a switch at the battery and a
switch at the pump. Other vehicles will be equipped with a timer switch allowing the pump to run for five minute
intervals. A bonding jumper wire reduces the possibility of static electricity discharge between the fuel station and
the equipment being fueled. To fill the tank, remove the fuel filler cap and fill the tank with the grade of gasoline
required by your equipment. When replacing the fuel fill cap, be sure it seats squarely and turn it firmly to lock it on
the fill pipe neck.
NO SMOKING.
BEFORE DISPENSING OF FUEL, TURN OFF ALL ENGINES, FUEL BURNING
APPLIANCES, AND THEIR IGNITORS (SEE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS). CONNECT
THE BONDING JUMPER WIRE TO THE VEHICLE RECEIVING FUEL. GROUND
THE RV. DO NOT DISPENSE FUEL WITHIN 20 FEET OF AN IGNITION SOURCE
OR WITHIN 10 FEET OF ANOTHER RECREATIONAL VEHICLE OR STRUCTURE.
FAILURE TO COMPLY COULD RESULT IN FIRE, DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY.
Fuel Transfer System Safety
Static electricity-related incidents when refueling are extremely unusual. They appear to happen most often during
cool or cold and dry climate conditions. In rare circumstances, these static related incidents have resulted in a brief
flash fire occurring at the fill point. You can minimize these and other potential fueling hazards by following safe
refueling procedures.
A build-up of static electricity can be caused by reentering a vehicle during fueling, particularly in cool or cold and
dry weather. If you return to the fuel fill pipe during refueling, the static may discharge at the fill point, causing a
flash fire or small sustained fire with gasoline refueling vapors.
Here are some additional refueling safety guidelines when refueling your vehicle or filling up gasoline storage
containers:
• Turn off vehicle engines. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition: the trailer furnace, water
heater, cooking unit, and any pilot lights. Turn off main propane valve.
• Do not smoke, light matches or lighters while operating the refueling system, or when using gasoline.
• Use only the refueling latch provided on the gasoline dispenser nozzle.
• Never jam or otherwise try to lock the refueling latch on the nozzle open.
• Do not re-enter your vehicle during refueling. If you cannot avoid reentering your vehicle, discharge any
static build-up BEFORE reaching for the nozzle by touching something metal with a bare hand, such as
the vehicle body or frame, away from the nozzle.
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• In the unlikely event a static-caused fire occurs when refueling, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and back
away from the vehicle. Turn off the fuel pump master switch immediately.
• Do not over-fill or top-off your vehicle tank, which can cause gasoline spillage.
• Never allow children under licensed driving age to operate the pump.
• Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors, Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air.
Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.
• Never siphon gasoline by mouth, Never put gasoline in your mouth for any reason, Gasoline can
be harmful or fatal if swallowed, If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting, Contact a
emergency medical service provider immediately.
• Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin; it may cause irritation. Remove gasoline-soaked clothing
immediately.
• Use gasoline as a motor fuel only. Never use gasoline to wash your hands or as a cleaning solvent.
Fuel Transfer System Operation
To operate the fuel transfer system (also see the “Fuel Pump Owner’s Manual” in your Owner’s Information
Package):
1. Lower the tongue jack or 5th-wheel jacks to the ground. This will electrostatically ground the trailer to
reduce the possibility of static discharge while refueling.
2. Set the master disconnect switch to ON. This will either be located at the battery or at the fuel pump
area.
3. Close the vents in the side of the trailer to prevent fuel vapor from entering the trailer.
4. Attach the ground clip securely to a bare metal part of the equipment to be fueled (frame, handle bar,
axle bolt, etc.)
5. Turn the fuel transfer pump switch ON. For vehicles equipped with a timer, turn the timer to on and
this will allow the pump to run 5 minutes. When the pump stops, turn on again if necessary for another
5 minute run.
6. Remove the fuel hose and nozzle from its compartment. An automatic bypass valve prevents pressure
buildup when the pump is on with the nozzle closed.
7. Place the nozzle into the equipment fuel filler and squeeze the handle to allow fuel to flow. Be careful
not to overfill the equipment fuel tank. Wipe up any spilled fuel.
8. When finished release the nozzle handle and return the nozzle to its compartment and shut off the pump
switch.
9. When you are finished with all fueling, turn off the pump master switch either at the pump or at the
battery if equipped.
10.Lock the fuel transfer nozzle compartment to prevent unauthorized use. The nozzle compartment must
be locked at all times when not dispensing fuel.
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If a fuel spill occurs in the storage area of the trailer, open the windows and sidewall vents, and wipe up
the fuel with cloth or paper towels. Dispose of the towels in a suitable hazardous waste container. Do not
hose out the trailer with water. Clean the fuel spill areas with a grease/oil dissolving cleaner such as 409®.
Thoroughly dry the spill areas.
Fuel-soaked rags or other materials contain flammable and/or explosive fuel vapors and other hazardous
substances. Clean up materials should be temporarily stored in a nonflammable, vapor-tight container until
proper disposal facilities are available. Do not store flammable clean up rags or materials inside the trailer,
inside any other vehicle or near any source of flame or ignition because a fire or explosion can result.
All parts of the fuel transfer system including but not limited to the hoses, pump, nozzle, fittings, and tank
have been selected for their quality, safety, and intended application. Any alteration or replacement of any
part by other than Dutchmen Original Equipment Manufacturing parts could jeopardize the integrity of the
system and may result in serious injury or even death.
If your fueling system is not working properly or you need additional information on the use of the system
contact your authorized Dutchmen dealer immediately or call Dutchmen directly.
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Chapter 13: Care & Maintenance
The instructions and recommendations in this manual are meant to be used in conjunction with the individual
component manufacturers manuals accompanying the unit. Be sure to thoroughly review each component manual
to avoid any specific requirement not reviewed here.
Care and maintenance of the recreational vehicle is an important step in maintaining the safety, dependability and
the appearance, both interior and exterior, of the unit. Keep good records of all maintenance performed as these
may be necessary for warranty information or may assist in possible repairs needed.
Operational usage and climates may affect the frequency of maintenance needed on certain components.
Preventative maintenance is important to the life and enjoyment of any recreational vehicle as many problems can
be caught before they occur. Please do not hesitate to call your dealer with a question on the care and maintenance
of any item.
Exterior
Frame/Chassis/Attachments
The frame and frame components will corrode and it is normal. When and how much depend on the environment
the unit is subjected to, how often it is subjected to it and the preventative maintenance performed. The more
exposure to snow, rain, road salt, road chemicals, salt water, etc. the more accelerated and more severe the corrosion
will be. Diligence on the part of the owner when a unit is subjected to these elements can significantly reduce the
severity and how quickly this occurs.
When your unit is exposed to a known corrosive (road salt, road chemicals, salt water, etc) take the time to rinse
off the frame, frame components, under carriage, axles & running gear as soon as possible after reaching your
destination. Wash the exterior. Taking this simple steps will greatly reduce the extent and slow corrosive action
significantly.
Inspect the frame and frame components periodically. If a spot of rust is developing or the frame was nicked or
scratched by road debris, sand (or wire brush) and touch it up with rustproof enamel paint. Think of it as a tooth
with a cavity developing. Take care of it before it gets to deep and causes bigger issues.
Steps
Keep clean of dirt, salt, mud, etc. and lubricate pivot points with a dry lubricant spray every 30 – 60 days.
Hitch Couplers (Travel Trailers)
Inspect prior to each trip. The ball socket and clamp should be cleaned and lubricated monthly with wheel bearing
grease. If coupler or coupler components appear damaged or worn, contact your dealer immediately.
Pin Box (Fifth-Wheel) & Hitch Equipment
Inspect monthly or prior to each trip. The hitch plate and locking mechanism should be generously lubricated with
a high temperature rated grease at all times. Consult the hitch manufactures manual for the brand you selected.
Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com or
www.morryde.com.
Safety Chains (Travel Trailers)
Safety chains should be inspected before every trip and if damaged or weakened, replace immediately. Never tow
without use of the safety chains.
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Tongue Jacks, Manual/Power (Travel Trailers)
When preparing to travel, inspect the jack for any damage and test operation. If jack is difficult to operate, clean
and oil lightly (Manual). If jack is still difficult to operate or freezes, it should be service or replaced by a qualified
RV technician. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.lci1.com.
Fifth-Wheel Jacks
When preparing to travel, inspect the inner/outer arms (legs) and be sure they are not bent. Check the operation
and if the jacks are difficult to operate, have them service by a qualified RV technician. Please refer to the
manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or www.lci1.com.
Siding & Sidewall Attachments
“Black streaks” are caused when pollution, rain, dirt and sealant deterioration mix. We are not aware of any way to
prevent “black streaks”. However, keeping your exterior washed and waxed often will make them much easier to
remove. There are many products in the market that are effective in removing “black streaks”. Consult you dealer
for these products.
RV Gel Coat Finish - Care and Maintenance
Fiberglass is a common term for fiber-reinforced plastic, or FRP, which is a plastic material, strengthened using glass
fiber cloth and used on many RV’s for sidewalls and caps. To give the fiberglass a smooth and shiny surface, a clear
or colored gel resin material is applied to the outer surface. Gelcoat is available in many colors and is very durable,
but it can become dull or faded as it weathers. Sunlight, heat and moist air combine to oxidize the gelcoat surface,
fading it and making the surface cloudy. So how do you keep your fiberglass looking good? Simple, you clean and
apply a top quality wax twice a year or every 3 months in cases where the vehicle is in constant exposure to the elements.
General Maintenance
Normal maintenance of your gel coated fiberglass RV is similar to the care you would give your automobile. In
general, automotive cleaners and waxes work well. Do not use caustic, highly alkaline (high pH) cleaners or those
containing ammonia. These cleaning agents may darken white or off-white weathered gel coat surfaces. The staining
that results is a chemical reaction within the weathered gel coat, and can be removed with a rubbing compound or
by light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper followed by application of rubbing compound and waxing.
Cleaning
Periodic cleaning with a mild detergent product is necessary to remove normal accumulations of soil. This soil is
the result of regular use of your RV as well as environmental pollutants, soot, smog, etc. General washing as needed
prevents soil build-up, staining, etc.
Waxing
As the gel coat begins to lose its gloss from constant exposure to the natural environment and pollutants, it will
require some special attention to restore the original gloss and color. After washing with mild soaps and detergents, a
good polishing with a self-cleaning automotive wax will restore most of the original gloss. A fall and spring wax job
is generally all that is needed to maintain the original appearance. If the surface has been allowed to weather badly,
and cleaning and wax polishing does not restore the finish satisfactorily, then compounding will be necessary.
Compounding
Polishing compound (fine abrasive) or rubbing compound (coarser abrasive) is recommended for use on fiberglass
RVs to remove scratches, stains, or a severely weathered surface. Polishing or rubbing compound can be applied by
hand or by mechanical means, such as an electrical or pneumatic buffer. After the scratched, stained or weathered
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surface has been removed, it should be waxed to enhance the gloss and color while providing a seal to retard staining
or new soil accumulation.
Removing the Discoloration
Discoloration of the gel coated fiberglass surface may occur if regular washing and waxing has been neglected. Discolored areas are very shallow in depth and, in fact, are on the surface. They can be removed by gently wet-sanding
only the affected areas with 600 grit “wet or dry” sandpaper to remove the blemishes. Always sand in one direction, using plenty of water. After sanding, dry the areas and ensure all the discoloration has been removed. If not,
repeat the process. Once all discoloration has been removed the affected surface area will need to be buffed. Buffing,
using an electrical or pneumatically operated buffer at low speed (1750 rpm - 2250 rpm), will restore the luster to
the sanded surface. Use a soft wool pad and apply a generous amount of rubbing compound using circular motion.
When the buffing has been completed, wash off the rubbing compound with clean water. Dry the surface. Wax
your RV with a high-grade automotive wax.
Other Alternatives
Poli Glow products, Inc provides several products that work well to clean protect and restore a beautiful shine to
your fiberglass cap. Poli Glow is not a wax and is easily applied. It wipes on without the need for rubbing or buffing. It will not wash off with soap and water and lasts for over 12 months! The website is www.pliglow-int.com
which has a video showing how to use and apply the Poli Glow products. The Poli Glow Kit along with Poli Ox is
recommended for caps that have begun to oxidize. Manufacturer instructions must be followed for best results.
Metal
The aluminum exterior has a baked on enamel finish. Washing frequently with an automotive or RV wash solution
will help avoid staining from debris and soil build up. Always rinse unit with clear water prior to washing to remove
any loose dirt. Waxing two to three times a year with a good automotive paste wax will help preserve the finish
DO’S and DON’TS
• DO Use Automotive / Marine grade non-abrasive waxes.
• DO Use Soft cloths to clean and wax
• DO be careful around graphics. Wax and wash with the graphic, not against it.
• DO NOT use products containing ammonia or caustic harsh cleaners as they may cause discoloration to
the fiberglass surface.
• DO NOT use high-pressure washers, rotating brushes, such as in car washes, and power buffers. Use of
these products can damage graphics and/ or paint finishes.
• DO NOT dry wipe surfaces
• DO NOT use rubbing compounds
ABS Plastic / Molded Parts
Some components are constructed of strong ABS molded plastic. A mild solution of soap and water should be used
when cleaning. When using any product, make sure the product is recommended for use on plastics. Avoid harsh
abrasive cleaners, ammonia or citric-based products as discoloration may result.
Windows
The seals/sealants used to seal the windows to the sidewall of the unit are subject to deterioration over time. Every
six months, inspect the area between the window frame and the side wall for sealant gaps/voids, cracks, shrinkage,
etc. and reseal as necessary. In addition, after a rain, inspect the interior of the unit around windows for any
evidence of water penetration. If any interior leaks are noticed, contact an authorized dealer immediately. If caught
early, it may save you much time, frustration and money.
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To ensure window operation, adjust and lubricate latches and any moving parts annually. A light oil or powdered
graphite can be used for lubrication. Periodically use a vacuum attachment to clean any debris out of the window
weep holes, which are necessary to drain any condensation or moisture from hard driving rains that may collect.
Corner Moldings
A corner molding is the trim that covers the joint between a front/rear wall and a sidewall. The sealants used here
are subject to deterioration in time. As sealants dry out and the unit twists and turns during normal operation, these
areas are subject to leaks. This area is very important because a leak may not manifest itself inside the unit where it
is easily identifiable. This type of leak may take time to be evident and by then, there could be substantial damage.
Every six months, inspect these areas for sealant gaps/voids, cracks, shrinkage, etc. and reseal as necessary. Please
consult your local Dutchmen dealer for assistance if needed.
Moldings
There are a variety of other moldings used on the exterior of our applications that include but are not limited to
floor line, awning rail, roof line, flat trim with screw cover. Every six months, inspect these areas for sealant gaps/
voids, cracks, shrinkage, etc. and reseal as necessary. Please consult your local Dutchmen dealer for assistance if
needed.
Other Wall Attachments
These can include but are not limited to compartment doors, door holders, range vent, refer vent, lights, awning
feet, water fills, cable hatches, furnace vents, grab handles, speakers, receptacles, water heater, etc. Every six months,
inspect these areas for sealant gaps/voids, cracks, shrinkage, etc. and reseal as necessary. Please consult your local
Dutchmen dealer for assistance if needed.
Slide-outs
Don’t forget this important feature when it comes to maintenance. A slide-out has it’s own roof, end walls, rear
wall, floor with similar moldings and attachments as the rest of the unit. The sidewall opening moldings and
all components of the slide-out room “box” should be inspected every six months for sealant gaps/voids, cracks,
shrinkage, etc. and resealed as necessary. Please consult your local Dutchmen dealer for assistance if needed.
CAUTION ABOUT SEALANTS - Be careful when selecting a sealant, as it is not recommended to use 2 different
sealants on top of each other. It may appear sealed, but water may be able to slip between the 2 sealants if they do
not bond to each other. It is recommended to use the same type/brand sealant as was used originally or to remove
all old seal, clean the area/component and install all new fresh sealant. Please consult your local Dutchmen dealer
for assistance if needed. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation
and/or www.lci1.com or www.norcoind.com.
Roof
In most cases, the roof assembly consists of the interior paneling, a truss system, insulation, roof decking (plywood,
OSB) and a rubber roof or TPO which is glued to the roof decking. Because of the manufacturing process, air
pockets and/or visible spots may be seen in the rubber roof. These visible spots can be caused by debris (wood,
staples, screws, etc.) that are between the rubber roof and decking or by imperfections occurring during the rubber
roof manufacturer. In most cases, these are considered cosmetic in nature and seldom require any corrective action.
Rubber Roof
The rubber roof is a polymer membrane that will not rust or corrode and is very strong and durable. Other than
periodic washing, the rubber roof material itself does not require maintenance or coatings. However, be advised that
any attachment, seams or joints in the rubber roof requires maintenance often!
The roof material can, however, be punctured, snagged or cut by contact from other objects. Know the height of
your unit and avoid contact with overpasses, trees, etc. If the rubber roof is damaged, it is designed to be patched.
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“Rubber roof patch” kits are available through your local dealer. If done correctly, these kits are designed extremely
reliable. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.dicor.com.
The rubber roofing material, when wet, may be slippery.
Always use caution when working on top of the RV.
Alpha Superflex TPO Roof
The TPO roof will not rust or corrode and is very strong and durable. Other than periodic washing, the rubber
roof material itself does not require maintenance or coatings. However, be advised that any attachment, seams or
joints in the rubber roof requires maintenance often! Alpha products must be used on a unit with the Alpha system.
These items can be obtained from your dealership.
The TPO material can, however, be punctured, snagged or cut by contact from other objects. Know the height of
your unit and avoid contact with overpasses, trees, etc. If the TPO roof is damaged, it is designed to be patched.
“TPO roof patch” kits are available through your local dealer. If done correctly, these kits are designed extremely
reliable. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.alphasystemsinc.com/.
Roof Seams and/or Joints
Roof sealants will deteriorate which can lead to leaks. Deterioration can be accelerated in heavy sun, changes in
climates (expansion/contraction with aggressive temperature change), and cold climates. Once the unit leaves our
manufacturing facilities, we can no longer maintain the sealants, that becomes your responsibility. We hope you
take this seriously because it can help prevent a very frustrating situation that can be very expensive to remedy
(damage from water leaks).
Inspect the roof at least every 90 days, paying close attention to all seams and/or joints and attachments where
sealant is used. Look for cracks, shrinkage and/or gaps/voids in the sealants. These must be carefully cleaned and
resealed. It is necessary to use the same sealant as originally installed if touching up cracks, shrinkage and gaps/
voids. There is no way to know if 2 different brands of sealant will seal to each other. DO NOT use any type of
silicone product on the rubber roof material.
If there any doubt in your mind in performing this maintenance, please contract with your local dealer to have it
done. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation and/or
www.dicor.com.
Axles
Even with normal usage, Axles may require periodic alignment which is not considered warrantable.
Brake Adjustment
The electric brakes are of the drum and two-shoe type and adjust the same as most automotive brakes. Adjust
brakes after the first 200 miles. Every 3 months or 3000 miles, test the brake drag and adjust if required. Full
procedures are outlined in the component manufacturer’s guide, included in the unit packet. Never adjust just one
brake. When adjusting brakes on any vehicle, either replace or adjust all brakes at the same time, or at least both
brakes on the same axle. Please refer to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care and operation
and/or www.dexter.com or www.al-kousa.com.
Battery
Batteries are not installed or warranted by Dutchmen Manufacturing. Please refer to the battery manufacturer
instructions for the product you selected for the detailed safety and maintenance requirements.
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Before performing any maintenance on the battery, always disconnect the battery,
removing the negative (-) cable first and then disconnecting the positive (+).
The acid in batteries is highly corrosive and hydrogen gas is produced which is extremely flammable.
Avoid placing near a possible ignition source such as open flame or potential spark producing wiring.
General Information
Never place batteries in any compartment or near anything that could spark, even a 12 Volt switch. Never smoke or
use open flames anywhere near the battery. Secure batteries in a battery box or in a compartment specially designed
for battery storage. Wear safety glasses and appropriate clothing when performing any maintenance on a battery.
In case of a spill or splash, immediately flush the affected area with cold water for 15 minutes and call the poison
control center for further instructions.
If the shore line cord will be plugged in for long periods of time, battery water will evaporate quicker and
maintenance will be required more often (does not apply to maintenance free battery).
Keep battery terminals clean of corrosion and tightened.
When storing the RV for an extended period, fully charge the battery before storage. Batteries will self-discharge
over time and are subject to freezing, especially if in a discharged condition. We recommend removing the fully
charged battery and storing in a cool dry place. Periodically check the charge of the battery while in storage and
recharge as needed.
Interior
Appliances: See Chapter 7
Bedspreads
Refer to the label attached to the bed spread by the manufacturer. Dry-clean only unless the care instructions on the
label indicate otherwise. Washing a dry-clean only bedspread could cause premature deterioration, fading, shrinkage
and / or possible damage.
Blinds and Shades
Venetian blinds and day/night shades should be vacuumed regularly with a soft brush attachment. Use of a soft
cloth and mild cleaner on blinds will help keep them new looking. For fabric shades, upholstery cleaners are not
recommended. Instead, spot clean when necessary, using a mild soap and water solution on area.
Cabinet Doors and Drawers
The cabinet doors and drawer fronts should be cared for similar to the fine furniture in your home. Using a quality
furniture polish will help maintain the beauty and luster of the wood as well as keep the wood from drying out. The
accidental scratches can be covered satisfactory with a good quality commercial furniture scratch remover.
Carpeting
The carpeting installed is made of nylon and is easy to maintain. Vacuum regularly to remove abrasive grit. Water
based spills and spots should be removed immediately with a damp cloth. Grease or oil based stains and spots
should be spot cleaned with a good commercial spot cleaner made for this purpose. If complete shampooing is
desired, it is best to have it done be a competent professional carpet cleaner. Never soak or water-log your carpeting.
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Ceilings and Walls
Clean only with a mild detergent in warm water, using a damp cloth to clean the ceiling. Never use strong
chemicals or excessive water / moisture, as either can damage the ceiling or walls.
Countertops
Most countertops are made of high-pressure plastic laminates and are highly resistant to normal spills and scuffs.
Soap and lukewarm water or a mild, non-abrasive cleaner are recommended. Avoid use of abrasive pads and
scouring powders, which can dull the surface and make it more stain-prone. Always use a chopping block or cutting
board when using knives. Pots and pans straight from the burner or oven should be placed on lined hot pads and
not directly on the counter surface.
Solid Surface Countertops
The solid surface composite countertops can be cleaned with soap and mild detergents, which will remove most
stains. DO NOT use products containing bleach. Stubborn stains may require the use of a white Scotch Brite pad
and a non-abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub. Most scratches and defects in solid surface countertops can be repaired
without replacement.
Draperies
Draperies and upholstery fabrics are treated with fire-retardants and are dry-clean only unless the manufacturer label
indicates otherwise. When dry cleaning, be sure to inform attendant of fire retardant items. Spots and stains should
be removed with a non-water based commercial spot remover manufactured for this purpose.
Faucets and Fixtures
To protect the finishes on your kitchen and bath faucets and fixtures, use only a damp soft cloth or sponge. Do not
use abrasive cleaners or materials as they can damage the finish.
Flooring, Vinyl
For routine cleaning, sweep or vacuum regularly. Follow by using a damp mop with warm water and clean a small
area at a time. Rinse the mop frequently as to not redistribute the dirt picked up. If washing is needed, use a quality
product designed for no-wax flooring. To polish the floor, do not use solvent-based waxes or polishes as damage to
the flooring may result. Use only polishes recommended for no-wax flooring.
Glass and Mirrors
Clean glass and mirrors as you would at home using a cleaner designed for glass. To reduce “spotting” on outside
windows, use a squeegee promptly after rinsing with water. For stubborn spots, cleaning with a mixture of vinegar
and water is recommended and is safe for most finishes.
Fabric and Upholstery
Do not laundry upholstery fabrics. Blot up stains promptly and use an upholstery cleaner or mild solvent,
depending on the stain. Never soak the fabric and use as little water as possible. Blot rather than rub. Towel dry or
have professionally cleaned. Upholstery can be vacuumed regularly using a soft brush attachment.
Sinks, Tubs and Toilets
Many of these products are made of acrylics, plastics or composite materials and use of non-abrasive cleaners is
recommended to protect the finish. Use of harsh cleaning products can cause premature deterioration and/or
yellowing of the surface finish.
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Maintenance Requirements
Note: The intervals outlined here are based on typically recreational travel and family camping in typical climates
and weather conditions. Review Chapter 12 in detail for more information regarding the specific maintenance
requirements of each topic listed below. Extended or full time use or extreme conditions may accelerate
deterioration of components, seals, etc and require more aggressive maintenance intervals.
SERVICE
Pre-Trip
After Each
Use
Monthly
Every 3
Months
Every 6
Months
Yearly
Lube
Pin Box & Hitch Equipment
Inspect
Safety Chains
Inspect
*Jacks (A-frame, Landing)
Inspect
Clean
Wax
Fiberglass/Gel Coat
Clean
Wax
Metal Siding
Inspect/Reseal
Window Sealants
Inspect/Reseal
Corner Moldings
Inspect/Reseal
Other Moldings
Inspect/Reseal
Roof Seams & Joints
Adjust
*Brakes (every 3 months or
Test
3,000 miles)
*Battery
Inspect
Flush
Black Water System
Flush
Grey Water System
Clean
*Roof Air Conditioner
Leak Test
Propane System
Lube
*Slide-Out System
Inspect/Reseal
Slide-Out Box
*CO Detector
Test
*LP Detector
Test
*Smoke Alarm
Test
Check oil
*Generator
Clean
*Furnace
Clean
*Refrigerator
Roof Vents
Inspect
Drain
Flush
*Water Heater
Drain
Sanitize
Fresh Water System
Lube
Latches, Locks
Lube
Entry Steps
Tires
Inspect
*Axles
Touch-up
Frame
*Please refer to the to the manufacturer instructions supplied with the unit for care & operation
or the applicable website.
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Appendix
For assistance with this manual, warranty information or information on Dutchmen Products, please visit us on the
web or contact Dutchmen Manufacturing Retail Customer Service.
Address:
Dutchmen Manufacturing Owner Relations
2642 Hackberry Drive
P.O. Box 2000
Goshen, IN 46527
Fax: 574-534-9057
Toll Free Phone: 866-869-1110
Website: www.Dutchmen.com
Owner Relations Hours:
9:00AM - 4:00PM (EST) Monday - Friday
Exterior Pre-Travel Checklist
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Fill the LP bottles
Empty the holding tanks
Connect the trailer to the tow vehicle and test all of the exterior lights
Inspect the awning and ensure that it is properly retracted and secured for travel
Inspect all exterior baggage doors and hatches ensuring they are locked
Inspect the tires and check the pressures. Refer to Chapter 3
Check the wheel nut torque. Refer to Chapter 3
Connect the breakaway switch and test the brakes on the trailer. Adjust the tow vehicle brake controller
in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
• Secure the rear leveling jacks in the “up” position
• Position the battery disconnect to the on position
• Ensure the steps are retracted
Interior Pre-Travel Checklist
•
•
•
•
Close all vents and windows
Place the television antenna “down” position
Retract the slide rooms
Inspect the interior of the unit ensuring that all cabinet, interior, and the shower doors are closed and
secured
• Secure all loose items in storage compartments
• Ensure that the refrigerator door is closed and latched
• Verify the smoke, carbon monoxide and LP alarms are in working condition
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Glossary of Common Terms and Definitions
AC ELECTRICITY: Alternating Current. Standard Household 120V AC current.
ANODE ROD: Part of the water heater that attracts impurities in the water that cause corrosion.
BLACK TANK: The holding tank into which the toilet directly drains.
BLACK WATER: The term associated with sewage contained within the black tank.
BRAKE CONTROLLER: Device located in the tow vehicle that activates the trailer brakes.
BTU: The measurement of the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one (1) pound of water, one (1)
degree F.
BUSINESS: Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain
COLD INFLATION PRESSURE: The pressure in the tire before it is driven.
COMMERCIAL: Connected with or engaged in or sponsored by or used in commerce or commercial enterprises.
CITY WATER: Refers to exterior water source, not water from the fresh water tank that you hook up to at
campgrounds. “City Water” refers to pulling water from a central source (like in a city).
CONDENSATION: The result of warm humid air coming in contact with cold glass also known as ‘Sweat’.
CONVERTER: Device that converts 120V AC to 12V DC.
COLD INFLATION PRESSURE: The pressure in the tire before you drive.
CURB WEIGHT: The weight of a motor vehicle with standard equipment including the maximum capacity of
fuel, oil, and coolant, and, if so equipped, air conditioning and additional weight optional engine.
CURBSIDE: Term used to refer to the side of your coach, which faces the curb or shoulder when parked. Also
called DOOR SIDE (the main entrance door) or OFFROAD SIDE.
DC ELECTRICITY: Direct Current. Also termed Battery Power. Used to run all 12 Volt powered systems or
lighting.
DRY CAMPING: Refers to camping using only the resources within your unit and without amenities such as city
water hook-ups, electrical hook-ups, etc., often provided at commercial campsites.
DSI IGNITION: Direct Spark Ignition – The method of lighting a main burner on a LP fired appliance.
DUCTED AC: Air conditioning distributed through a ducting system.
DUCTED HEAT: Warm air distributed through a ducting system.
DUAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: Trailer equipped with appliances and lights, which operate on 12V power when
self-contained, and with a converter, on 120V AC when in campgrounds or run off of a generator.
DUMP STATION: Term used for locations to drain the waste holding tanks (gray and black tanks). In most
states, it is illegal to dump your tanks anywhere except at dump stations.
DUMP VALVE: Another name for the T-Handle used to drain the black and gray tanks.
EGRESS WINDOW: Term for the emergency exit windows within recreational vehicles: Usually identified by a
red handles or levers.
FULL HOOK-UP SITE: A campsite that offers full amenities: city water, sewer, and electrical hook ups – many
have cable and phone available.
GALLEY TANK: A gray water holding tank used specifically for the kitchen waste water.
GENERATOR: Powered by LP gas, generates 120V power.
GRAY TANK: the waste holding tank into which water from the kitchen and bath sinks, shower and tub drains.
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GRAY WATER: Water drained into the gray holding tank.
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR): Maximum amount of weight (in lbs.) that can be placed on the
axle.
GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (GCWR): Maximum load weight (in lbs.) allowed for the coach and
tow vehicle.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR): Maximum load weight (in lbs.) allowed for the vehicle.
HITCH WEIGHT: Amount of a trailers weight that rests on the tow vehicle’s hitch. See also pin weight.
HOLDING TANKS: Refers to the tanks typically known as fresh water, gray and black, where the water is held.
HOOK-UPS: Where you connect to a campground’s facilities.
LOAD RATING: The maximum load that a tire is rated to carry for a given inflation pressure.
LOW POINT/LOW POINT DRAIN: Low point in the plumbing system.
LP GAS: Liquefied Petroleum Gas used to fuel appliances. Propane is a LP gas.
MAXIMUM LOAD RATING: The load rating for a tire at the maximum permissible inflation pressure for that
tire.
MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE INFLATION PRESSURE: The maximum cold inflation pressure to which a tire
may be inflated.
MODIFICATION: The act of making something different.
PILOT: Small flame that is used to ignite the main burner of a LP-fired appliance.
PIN WEIGHT: The vertical trailer load supported by the king pin of a fifth- wheel hitch. Also called hitch weight.
PRIMITIVE CAMPSITE: Campsite that offers limited connections. May have city water or electrical available but
not both.
PULL-THROUGH SITES: Camp sites that you can pull your recreational vehicle through, eliminating the need
to back in.
RADIAL PLY TIRE: A pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid at substantially 90
degrees to the center line of the tread.
RECOMMENDED TIRE INFLATION PRESSURE: This is the inflation pressure provided by the vehicle
manufacturer on the Tire Information label and on the Certification / VIN tag.
RENTAL: Property that is leased or rented out or let.
RESIDENTIAL: The act or fact of residing, abiding, or dwelling in a place for some continuance of time.
ROADSIDE: Refers to the side of the unit that faces the road when parked. Also commonly referred to as “Off
DOOR SIDE.”.
RV: Short for Recreational Vehicle.
RVIA: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association
SHORE LINE: The electrical cord that connects 120V from an exterior outlet (such as campgrounds) to the RV.
Also called ‘Power Cord’
SHORE POWER: The 120V outlet that connects to the Shore Line.
SPEED RATING: The speed rating denotes the maximum speed at which a tire is designed to be operated.
UNLOADED VEHICLE WEIGHT (UVW): Weight of the unit without adding fuel, water, propane, supplies and
passengers. Also referred to as ‘Dry Weight’
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